With Mini’s party fast-approaching, we use every opportunity we can get to pick up extra supplies. Monday was one of those days. Our local dollar store is in a shopping center with a pet store and Mini loves to look at the gerbils and guinea pigs. We went in, looked at the animals then made our way to the other store. We grab a cart and I reiterate what we are there for (ie. don’t ask me for anything extra!) and start walking.

Then we see her. A woman was lying on the floor, shaking and convulsing. She was having a seizure. It stopped Mini in her tracks. While the shop owner called for an ambulance, we went shopping. Mini was chatty at times, but quieter than usual. She was excited about her party, but clearly something was distracting her. As we made our way back to the front of the store, the woman who had been on the floor was up and complaining of a headache, but left the store.

Mini browsed through the register items (rings, pens, typical dollar store stuff) and we started to pay. There was a commotion out front as we gathered our bags to leave. The woman was on the ground in the parking lot, surrounded by two cop cars, seizing yet again. I started for the car but Mini stopped and stared. She looked a bit upset as the officers grabbed the lady before she rolled under a parked car. She gasped as they stuck their foot out to keep the woman’s head from hitting the ground. I tried as best I could to explain what was going on and she seemed alright as I loaded her into the car.

Halfway home, the tiny voice came from my backseat, “Mommy, am I going to have a seizure? Mommy is that lady going to die?” My heart broke. I fought tears as I explained that no, there was nothing medically wrong with her and told her there is something wrong with the woman we saw. I then said no again because the EMTs were there to help her. They were going to bring her to the hospital and make sure she was okay.

She didn’t mention it to me again, but said something to her Gma, who was visiting. “This lady was shaking!” Uh-oh. Nothing was mentioned after that though. However, I rolled over in my bed at 6am only to be met with a mop of blonde hair. Mini hasn’t crawled into bed with me since before she was 3 (over 2 years ago). I woke her up for school and she made some excuse about how it was cooler in my room than hers. I asked her if that was it and she hesitated before admitting she had a nightmare about the lady. All I could do was hug her. My poor baby. I again explained what had happened then we got ready for the day.

I felt the need to have a word with her teacher in case she brought it up in class. The teacher was compassionate and even offered me some advice and support. I texted a few family members. My Mom told me “You stay calm and she will be calm. Dreams are a natural way of working through stress.” Everyone has been so supportive.

Without getting into my whole history.. By the time I was Mini’s age, I had seen way more than any child ever should. As a Mother now, I want to protect her from.. well.. everything! This was an eye-opening reminder that I can’t always protect her. She is going to go through things that I can’t help her with and I am going to just have to be supportive and teach her whenever the opportunity arises. Truth be told, it’s harder being strong for Mini than it is for myself. I want to cry with her and then shield her from everything, but I know that’s not possible.

*Deep breath* I can do this!