Yesterday I lost Sophie at the grocery store. We’d just finished checking out but the register was having trouble printing the receipt and I was waiting for a clerk to fix it. Suddenly a woman in a wheelchair by the door called out that there was a little girl outside calling for her mommy. I looked down and saw Bella but not Sophie and I knew. I called, Sophie, Sophie! and no answer. So I ran for the door and looked out and there was little Sophie in her bright pink dress, looking quite distressed and unable to get back inside through the automatic doors that only open one way.
I yelled for her and ran outside and scooped her up as the lady in the wheelchair apologized (I’m not sure why.) I told her thank you and thank you again. I had no idea how she’d got outside. I held her tight and then scolded her sharply for running off and then told her how scared I was. She didn’t say a thing. I think she was stunned. She continued to be uncharacteristically quiet all the way home, foregoing her usual chatter, though Bella filled in the gaps.
She has never wandered off before. Though she sometimes gets distracted while walking down the aisles and has to be called to catch up, when she is paying attention she stays close.
Prompted by a homily on Sunday, Dom has decided to set his cell phone to beep every hour and has designated each hour as belonging to one of us. The first hour to me, the second to Bella and so on. He prays for us briefly, his own version of the Liturgy of the Hours. How funny that it was his hour to pray for Sophie just at that moment that she was straying.
I know I can never keep my eyes on all of my children at every moment of every day. It scares me and yet reminds me too that I can’t control everything. I can only pray always and trust in God and their guardian angels to keep them safe.