As we walked into the store daughter convinced me to let her sit in one of those HUGE buggies with the big plastic toddler seats. I despise those things yet was feeling unusually agreeable and generous since I wasn't lugging an enormous baby and refereeing arguments and forgetting what I went into the store for. Our conversation was limited due to the noise coming from that buggy, which was comparable to a freight train. The buggy and I also took out two separate displays, a rack of clothes, and a shelf of chips...but I digress.
We had a short list: large envelopes, coffee creamer, hamburger buns, and socks-so poor daughter could finally stop wearing her brother's. Of course, being at Walmart mandates over-spending at least $20 (how do they DO that?). So we added a few
It never fails, no matter how short the line appears, I always-ALWAYS-pick the longest line. Someone has a problem, the cashiers are changing shifts, whatever-I always wind up in the line that takes forever. We walked out of the store about 30 minutes later than I had anticipated. We walked out of the door, diligently looked both ways before heading into the parking lot, as I always do. A car was coming down the lane in front of the store. I was nearly halfway across the street and I noticed she wasn't coming to a stop at the end of the parking row she was driving down. She totally California rolled right towards us! I heard myself yell, "STOP!!" and felt my body move to the right in order to grab my daughter. It did not happen in slow motion the way some events tend to transpire. This was real time. I went on auto-pilot. I don't know about anyone else, but often times my mind wanders and I imagine certain scenarios and how I would react...a house fire or robbery for example. I never envisioned how I would react to nearly being run over. The experience taught me that it doesn't matter what you think you will do. Your instincts will react, not your brain.
Getting back to my story: I noticed that she wasn't stopping, but there was nothing I could do about it. I couldn't stop, she would hit us anyway. I couldn't back up, I couldn't run, the cart was too big to get out of the way fast enough. So I just yelled and tried to grab my child out of harm's way. By the time I heard the thud of the car making contact with our buggy it was too late for me to grab my girl. The buggy was being pushed into me by the car; I didn't have time to think about anything. This sounds counter-intuitive, but I forced the buggy forward, towards the car, hoping to at least cause some damage with my last breaths on Earth.
Finally the old lady realized she was literally plowing down a young mother in front of her own child and slammed on the brakes. She rolled her window down and said, "I'm sorry, the light blinded me..". My normal self would have chewed her a new one for not stopping before proceeding into where pedestrians cross, but my heart was pounding so hard and all I could think of was how happy I was that my guts didn't have to be scraped off the Walmart parking lot...what an undignified way to go.
Thank God my kid forced me to push her in that ridiculous vehicle. I honestly believe the sheer volume is what kept her from being injured. A regular buggy may have been overturned or not made enough of an impact to alert the lady to stop in time.
After checking to make sure my girl was unscathed (she was completely oblivious to how unnerving the incident was), I continued to our car. It was then I came back to reality and noticed the crowd that had gathered. Store managers, passersby- so many people ran over to check on us. It dawned on me that I should feel embarrassed, so I did. I stole a quick glance around and noticed women holding their chests and mouths agape, employees looking around, presumably looking for the old lady. I high-tailed it to the car to escape the attention and catch my breath.
While waiting for my heart rate to return to normal I received a text. My husband. Under the caption, "Guess what you missed" were pictures of my son with his first missing tooth! He looks so cute; the one right beside it is very wobbly so it is considerate of him to provide me with an encore. ;)
That's what I get for trying to sneak away.