Before today the kids and Paul, and really anyone who'd walked across a parking lot or road with me and the kids probably thought that I was a little bit paranoid about safety.
Having Maggie with her tendency to sprint and dart and not be aware of danger sort of made me that way.
The accident a few weeks ago and that up close look at how badly a vehicle can damage a human body, even going from a stop to hitting someone a short distance away, didn't really help either.
We've talked so much about looking both ways before crossing the street in the last few weeks, and about always peeking out around the edge of the bus and being careful even if the bus stop sign is out and you think the cars should be stopped, that I've lost count how many times we've talked about it.
But we still had a very, very close call today that left all of us shaken.
Today we took a very special trip to visit a store that I've been excited to go to since we moved to Michigan. Since we moved here in 2011, that basically means I've been waiting 7 years to make the 90 mile trip to see the biggest Christmas Superstore in the world.
The store didn't disappoint. It was absolutely amazing and the kids (and grownups) had so much fun exploring it's many acres of aisles and marveling at it's delicate, sparkling baubbles.
After checking out at the end of over an hour we visited the chapel on the edge of the parking lot and looked at three beautiful outdoor nativity scenes and then made our way back to the car.
I was leading the way, pushing the stroller.
Sadie was right behind me. My mom was next to her, holding James' hand in her left hand, and Patch's in her right and my dad was a little ways behind my mom.
I am always conscious of brake lights and I've sort of trained Sadie to be the same way. My mom is exactly the same way (I come by that particular trait honestly) and she never saw them either.
Instead, without any warning a car came to life and immediately moved backwards. It was just behind me and I heard my mom and Sadie scream and I turned quickly, to hear my mom say that she'd only barely been able to yank James out of the way to keep him from being crushed.
The car slowed and looked at us and then sped away.
And it was only then that I found out that they had actually hit Sadie.
She was okay, thankfully. Her thick winter jacket had born the brunt of the blow. The worst of it, she said was that her legs wouldn't stop shaking. And by the time I was sitting in the car, mine couldn't stop shaking either.
We went out to lunch. And then we carefully navigated the way back to the car. And James and Patch were a little more willing to hold hands and a little more watchful of the still cars we walked by as we returned to our mini van.
And as this Christmas Eve gives way to Christmas Day in a few more moments I am just so, so grateful that all the members of my family are still healthy and whole and that that little accident this afternoon wasn't much worse than it actually was.