It's happened to me. I had to stop him climbing out of an upstairs window. Think how bad you feel. That's why you're a good mum.
I am glad he is ok. Many years ago, I stood by my brother's hospital bed as he fought for life after sustaining a traumatic brain injury in a motorcycle accident. I didn't believe in God, but I prayed anyway. I bargained for his life. Now, of course, I see the folly in that, but I felt so helpless. He survived, and I did finally keep my side of the bargain - I vowed to not touch alcohol again.
I have also had an incident where my son's life flashed before my eyes. We were dog-sitting a big sweetie of a boxer. He got out and made a run right across the street where our neighbor was getting out of the car. I told my son to stay in our yard, but in his excitement, he ran across the street behind me. A car that neither of us had seen came to a screeching stop to avoid hitting him. I still feel sick and a little dizzy if I think about that too much. I may have said, "Thank you, thank you, thank you," but there really was nobody to thank besides the alert driver. I felt guilty for not paying better attention, but I was focused on trying to not have the dog scare/bite the neighbor.
I imagine every parent has had moments like this. Our lives could have changed in an instant. It is only natural to thank goodness, god, the universe, or whatever.
I'm glad your kid is okay, Belle.
If there is no God, why was he the first person I cried out to when my son could have died?
Because that was your go-to answer for how many years before?
Am I really an atheist?
If you don't believe in god, yes.
Belle - "what if I had looked over even 5 seconds later?" - whatever happened, you were going to find him straight away. I'm sure you were like a vigilant meerkat who got distracted for maybe 5 seconds. If you had looked over 5 seconds later, the situation would have been no worse. He wouldn't have burst into flames in that time.
I feel ya. I lived with my nephew for the first few years of his life and I could never figure out how parents do it. I barely let him climb the ladder to the slide without being right on him. Those things are high for a 4 year old! One fall at the right angle and... I don't even get how "overprotecting" is a term.
It was a natural reaction to call out like that. It was more of an emotional outburst than an appeal for help. It is great to know all is well and that no harm was done. The amount of adrenaline you burnt in those few seconds will help account for the feeling of shock. That is all normal and instinctive and I am sure every parent has had a similar moment of sheer panic and joyous relief all experience within a few “endless” seconds. The experience gets imprinted on the brain and I am sure you will never forget it. Don’t give yourself a hard time over it. He probably has forgotten it already and is wondering why he is getting all the extra hugs and kisses!! So focus on the energy and love that you are both sharing. Those are the memories to build :-)