I've rescued 3 out of 4 of my children in their lifetime (so far). It was a sunny afternoon in August, the first time I saved a child of mine. My oldest son, who was 3 years-old at the time, decided to go for a dip in the deep end of a relative's pool. Although the boy had never taken a single swimming lesson, he jumped into the 8-foot deep waters without hesitation. The sound of the splash drew my attention away from my daughter, who was happily peeling the nail polish off her tiny toes, to the pool where I caught sight of the dark shadow descending to the bottom of the pool.
It's amazing to me, in retrospect, how strong a mother can be when the life of her child is in her hands. I am not a strong swimmer but I dove into the water and plowed to the bottom, pulling the weight of him to the surface with ease. After choking up some water and crying a few tears (well, we both did that), he was fine.
It was just a few weeks later that as I was washing dishes, a sudden wave of panic came over me. I lifted my head to look out the kitchen window in time to see my 2-year-old daughter barrelling down the driveway toward the street. The adrenaline kicked in and off I went. Faster than a speeding bullet I was out the door and at the road in time to grab her just as a car zipped by, oblivious to the tiny child darting toward disaster.
Just as I am not a swimmer, I am not a runner. Even more than that, when I was in school I always volunteered to be scorekeeper out of sheer embarrassment of my lack of athletic abilities. I would be tested one more time a few years after the "daughter rescue," my youngest son (3 at the time) would follow in his sister's footsteps.
It was moving day and the moving truck was parked at the end, across our driveway. The ball rolled into the street, and my son headed to go get it. I caught him by his shirt just as a car maneuvered around the moving truck.
In writing this, one would think I didn't keep an eye on my kids! But kids are kids, and they get away from you. With four of them in the house, it's a wonder that we kept track of them at all. Maybe that's why mother's have these super powers. The power to sense when your child is hurting or in danger. I felt it so clearly when my daughter got away from her father's grip to run toward the street. The sense that it's my job to keep them safe. To come to their rescue.
My kids are older now (13 through 24) and although I haven't had to rescue any of them from other threats of physical harm (thankfully), I think as a mother I will always wear the Super Woman cape. Being here for them, to talk about a bad test grade or listen to them gripe about their new boss, is my way of rescuing them. Those super-human powers that mothers have never weaken, even as our kids grow older and need us less and less. The powers are there, beneath the surface, ready and waiting for an opportunity to resurface the moment one of our kids are in pain or has a broken heart. I keep my cape on at all times. With four kids, I just never know when I will be required to jump in for another daring rescue.