Near Misses

Childhood is filled with so many near misses, sometimes it's a wonder we make it through at all.

Dozens of times in any given week, Cash nearly slams his fingers in drawers, trips and flies forward or falls off the couch. I hold my breath, ready to react and usually...breathe a sigh of relief. Except for last week - a near miss turned out to be a hit.

Cash was running and tripped on his sandal, launching his face first into the corner of a table, just precisely at the right height to intersect with his mouth. With my shirt soaked in drool, blood and tears, I held him close and did everything I could to calm him down. After a half hour of no progress, I called for reinforcements and my husband came to our rescue, stranded at the mall with only a stroller and by this point, a second crying baby.

A compassionate onlooker asked if I needed help. At that moment, just that simple gesture of kindness from a stranger, caused me to burst out in tears making it totally obvious that I was just plain overwhelmed. Her eyes welled up a bit as I unleashed a terribly ugly cry. With all three of us crying, this stranger picked up my baby and calmed her down (and me too). I asked her a few questions to try to get to know this wonderful woman. Her name was Angelina and she was on her computer hunting for an apartment because she was moving back to the Milwaukee from Nashville. After a short conversation, I had pulled myself together and taken back my baby after a spewing a thousand thank-yous at Angelina.

By the time my husband picked us up and we got Cash home and in bed, he was just fine - no major damage to his mouth, just two chipped front teeth. Luckily, Cash is still able to eat strawberries (and everything else.) Even better is the assurance that there are so many incredibly kind people out there in my community and beyond. Thank you again sweet Angelina, I hope our paths cross again. If not, I promise to pay it forward.

Jenna L. Kashou