Dear person in the parking lot today,
Believe me, I saw you as I walked out of the gym. I know you saw me, because you started doing the creep along behind me as I walked to my space.
Did you happen to see the diaper bag slung over one shoulder and the gym bag over the other? The almost two-and-a-half year old hand in my left hand and the infant carrier nestled in the crook of my right arm?
I must have looked like a hot mess. A camel without the hump. Harried and hurried as I made my way through the drizzle.
Did you see me place the infant seat on the ground and drop both bags into a puddle as I tried to get my toddler safely into his seat?
Did you know that he likes to wander and run so I have to buckle him in to ensure his safety before I can do anything else? Did you know I was moving as fast as I possibly could have in an attempt to assuage the guilt I felt about letting my five-month-old sit in the cold?
I don’t know if you knew this, If you did, I don’t know that you cared, because as my back was turned to you, you honked.
I don’t know what you had going on in that moment. Maybe you were late for a class. Maybe you were meeting someone. Maybe someone had already been unkind to you this morning.
What I do know is that you honking only slowed me down.
Not because I’m vindictive–though there are times where I certainly have been–but because I have OCD and one of the things I’m obsessed with is my children’s safety.
When I say obsessed, I mean in the clinical sense.
I am so obsessed with their safety that I have, in fact, pulled off the road, gotten out, and re-checked car seats that they were strapped into only minutes before.
While I’m getting better at only checking them once, putting them into their car seats still causes me a fair amount of anxiety, because properly buckling them into their seats may be the difference between life and death. It doesn’t matter that it’s unlikely I’ll get into an accident, it doesn’t matter that I’ve safely buckled them and gotten them to our destination hundreds of times before. I am still nervous.
So please, in the future, be patient with me. I promise not to start going through my emails while you wait.