Since he was born, Conor has seen angels. I'm sure of it. You know how babies are about six weeks old before they can smile? Well, from almost his very first day on earth, whenever we laid Conor in his crib to change him, he would immediately crane his neck to look to this one particular corner of his crib and he would smile. I mean really smile. It happened every single time for his first month or so of life. We would call the kids in and say, "watch this", and put him in his crib, and sure enough, there he would go. We would look at that corner of his crib and see nothing, obviously, but we liked to believe that Conor had a visiting angel who just wasn't ready to say goodbye yet, and only he could see him. (or her) I actually felt a tinge of sadness on the first day that I laid him down in his crib for changing and he didn't look over for his angel. He's on his own now, I thought.
But thankfully, he is not.
Conor has a very serious allergy to walnuts. We don't find a genetic link to this allergy on either side of the family, so it's concerning, and completely new territory for me. We've had some close calls with him, the latest last Sunday. And I'm a little weirded out that the one tree on our property is a walnut tree, of all things, but I'm equipped with Baby Benadryl and an Epi-Pen Jr.
Conor also is more daring and obstinate than any of my other kids have been. He figured out how to open the doors, before we knew he had figured that out, and while I was in the bathroom, he went out the back, grabbed the rake, and headed down the driveway and across the street dragging it behind him. The neighbor brought him back, just as I was freaking out to come out of the bathroom and find the back door open. I have tried to hammer into his 21 month old mind that "You don't go into the street! You will get SMASHED!" And now that he's proficient at opening the front door too, we try to be vigilant about only using the back door (which is much harder for him to open) and keeping the front door locked.
Last Friday, Dylan and Aiden came upstairs, where I was with Lyndsay and Conor, to tell me they were going across the street to Sarah's house, the girl with Down's Syndrome, to watch a movie with her. She lives directly across from us, with a large picture window that looks onto the street and our house. Lyndsay and I kept tabs on Conor who went from toilet to toilet to dresser drawers to brother's top bunk to toilet to. . .well, you get the picture.
But then he was quiet.
Bad sign. I called for him. He didn't come. I heard the whisper, "Go check on Conor," and I called him again. Nothing. Again, more urgently, "Go check on Conor". I looked through the upstairs rooms and didn't see him, and peeked over the stairs to see the front door open. The boys had forgotten to turn the lock. This is happening in lightning fast speed, of course, less than a minute from the first time that I called his name, and I flew down the stairs and out the door where at that moment I saw a car stopped in the street just before our house, Conor standing on the sidewalk at the edge of the driveway (where he could see his brothers through the window across the street, and where I'm sure he was battling with the whole, "Mom said don't go in the street or I'll get smashed" thing, a dilemma of gigantic proportions to a toddler) and I saw Dylan come swooping across the street and sweep him up into his arms and bring him home. It was literally all within 60 seconds since I had last fished him from trouble with Lyndsay. I was so grateful that I had obeyed the prompting. I was so glad that the horrific scenarios playing out in my mind had not been true.
But the best part for me happened later that night when Aiden came and sat down next to me and said, "Mom, the coolest thing happened today. I was watching the movie at Sarah's house with my back to the window and all of a sudden I had this strong feeling to turn around and look out the window. So I did, and there was Conor standing in the driveway. I told Dylan, who ran out to get him."
I told him how I had had the same kind of feeling, and I told him that it was the Holy Ghost warning both of us at the same time so that we could protect baby Conor from danger. I wanted him to know and remember that feeling because it's so hard to adequately describe, and yet undeniable when it occurs, and here was my newly baptized son having maybe his first real experience with this gift that he's been taught about his whole life. I told him how proud I was of him for obeying immediately and not questioning such an odd prompting as 'turn around and look out the window'.
Even better, later that evening, Sarah's mother came over and told me the story from her perspective, that they were all glued to the television, when out of nowhere Aiden spun around in his chair, looked out the window, and yelled, "Conor!" She asked him how he knew to look, and he simply said, "I just had a feeling I should". I love that.
I believe that every person has a mission to fulfill here on earth. I believe that each of us comes equipped with talents and even trials that will help us to fulfill the measure of our creation and our unique earthly purpose. I believe that Conor must have greatness in him to have such opposition so young in his life, but I think that's why he has angels. And I thank them for helping me to keep him safe.