The other night was a typical, crazy evening going from one thing to the next. I was tired, frazzled and grouchy, but trying hard to get everything done and still stay a sane mama, one deep breath at at time. We had just arrived at Dallin's first baseball game of the season. I parked the van on the side of the busy street and proceeded to unload the kids. I noticed that Jake's diaper was about one ounce away from a major soak-through, so I instructed the other three to stay by the driver's door so I could hurry and change him. I specifically remember saying, "Abby, stand there and don't move." Then I turned my back.
A minute later I was aware of a car going by way too fast. I glanced up to make sure Abby was still standing by my side. She was gone.
I looked across the street and saw Jason carrying her, walking toward me, shaking his head. He was meeting us there and Abby had run to meet him as soon as she had seen him approaching.
"She ran right out in front of that car! It's a miracle she wasn't hit! Why weren't you watching her?" Jason was upset with me, and he had every right to be. I tried to explain to him that I don't have enough hands, that I was trying my hardest, that I told her to stand there, all the reasons that were completely true, but could never justify the life of our child.
"You need to watch her better!"
"I know. I know."
All I could think was, "She could have been killed. It would have been my fault. She could have been killed." All the emotions of the crazy day and the reality of what almost just happened overwhelmed me. I loaded Jake back into his car seat and told Jason to take Luke and Abby to watch the game. I felt bad missing Dallin's game, but I was too shaken to try to put on a happy face and sit/wrestle Jake for the next hour and a half.
As I drove home through my tears, I prayed. I'm trying my hardest to be a good mom, to meet everyone's needs and be in every place I need to be, but sometimes it's just not enough. I can't do it all. It's too much. Four kids, four hundred places to be, I'm constantly being pulled in so many different directions. If I work hard at one thing, everything else suffers. There just isn't enough of me to go around. I can't do it all. What am I supposed to do?
Later, I opened the April issue of the Ensign to Elder Bednar's article, The Atonement and the Journey of Mortality. It focuses on the power of grace and how Christ literally gives us his enabling power to do and to be more than we could ever be on our own. I could practically hear the answers to my prayers as I read.
"Because He paid the ultimate price and bore that burden, He has perfect empathy and can extend to us His arm of mercy in so many phases of our life. He can reach out, touch, succor—literally run to us—and strengthen us to be more than we could ever be and help us to do that which we could never do through relying upon only our own power."
She might have been killed. But she wasn't.
I can't do it all. You don't have to.
What am I supposed to do? Just what you can.
I'm so grateful for the knowledge I have that I only have to do my best. It may not be perfect, or anywhere near, but as long as I am doing my best I can rely on the Savior to make up the difference. I know bad things will still happen. I know life will be hard. I'm just grateful that this time, my daughter was protected and I have the opportunity to start fresh and focus on what matters most.