Yesterday we had quite the snowstorm here. Several inches had accumulated on the ground and it was still snowing heavily at 5:00. I had taken Elli into the bathroom in an attempt to avoid a messy diaper. After a few minutes of her sitting on the toilet I heard Sophi's panicked, "Mommy?!! Mommy?!!" This happens several times a day. Anytime she doesn't know exactly where I am, even when I just walk into the next room, she gets upset. We are working on it and she is getting so much better. I could hear that she was across the house-- probably close to the stairs, and I didn't want to yell, so I just waited for her to get closer. She called out louder, "MOMMY??!!!" this time with obvious tears. I stood up to go get her, but she then got quiet. I assumed Graci or Cali had stepped in to help her and I went back to coaxing Elli to use the potty. About 10 minutes later and still in the bathroom, I heard the strange voice of a man calling out. I thought my ears were playing tricks on me, but I finally left the bathroom to see what was going on. There in our mudroom stood a man, bundled up in his coat, holding a very distraught and very snowy little Sophi in his arms.
"Um, I found your little girl outside in the snow. She was running clear up the street without shoes on and was very upset."
This is the moment where I kind of went into shock. WHAT??? I just couldn't wrap my head around the fact that Sophi would just leave our house, go out into the heavy snow without a coat, socks, or shoes, and run up the street looking for me!! She had never left the house before-- even in good weather. Of course, until we got this home she had never been able to open a door-- now she can use her chin to open the levers. I profusely thanked this wonderful man while holding on to Sophi for dear life and kissing her icy cold cheeks all over. I went through so many emotions in those few seconds-- I was terrified of what could have happened to her, so very grateful-- that heartfelt gratitude that makes you fall to your knees-- that she was ok, completely mortified that a neighbor found my daughter barefoot and screaming and running in the snow, horrified that it was getting dark outside, and honestly kind of in awe that she would brave the elements like that just to find me. Needless to say, we had a big, long talk about never, ever, ever leaving the house without an adult or older sibling. We talked about all of the things that could have happened to her (well, all of the things that she could handle talking about). She learned about what frostbite does and how cars can't see you as well when it's snowing, among other things. I tried to get into her cute little head and figure out what in the world she was thinking, but all she could come up with was, "I couldn't find you and I went to find you!"
I have thanked my Heavenly Father over and over and over again that she was only out there for such a short time and for that man who very potentially saved her life. To be honest, I don't think I would have missed her for a very long time. I likely would have assumed she was just downstairs watching TV with Graci. To think of her out there in that weather while I was inside oblivious to it all was just a great big wake up call for me. Again, I am just so grateful that she was being watched over.
I love my little Sophi with all of my heart. I have kissed her a hundred times today-- so grateful that she is safe and that she is mine. And I am so glad to know that there is someone up there who loves her so much more than I do and is watching over her always.
And now, don't you want to just see a whole bunch of pictures of our sweet little runaway? Because I am kind of obsessed with taking pictures of her lately. (: