I just wanted to run away.

Not literally. But I wanted an escape. A break. I was acting on instinct, almost like a hunted animal.

Corey’s gone, all four kids need me, it’s raining again and I have no one coming to rescue me. I am all alone.

My natural reaction to the panic of the moment was to seek, as if my life depended on it, a diversion. A distraction. I needed to quell the anxiety rising in my throat.

So I ran – to the computer.

I jumped into the Twitter stream. Then I flipped through Facebook. I read a few blogs. The news of the day. The weather forecast (for more than one city, naturally). Miss Manners. Ask Amy. The comics.

Fifteen minutes later, I felt calmer. More in control. I was better able to handle the chaos outside my bedroom door (and at my feet, let’s be honest).

The Internet drug had worked. I was sedated.

But I wasn’t more Christ-like. I wasn’t infused with a fresh measure of God’s strength. I wasn’t anymore prepared to love well than when I ran to the laptop seeking.

I’m immensely thankful for the connections technology enables. My friendships, in real-life and online, are support, laughter, encouragement.

But they are not God.

Nor should they be.

The Heartbreak

It was the way he cried that unnerved me.

Wednesday morning, just two hours before Corey and I had to leave for the airport to attend the Christian Alliance for Orphans Summit in Louisville, Kieran fell. And he cried a cry I’ve never heard before. And he didn’t really stop.

I tried holding him. He kept crying. I tried showing him a toy. He kept crying. I tried a pacifier. He kept crying. I tried nursing him (normally, the panacea). He kept crying.

I couldn’t see what was wrong. He wasn’t bleeding or swelling or bruising. He was just in pain. And I couldn’t fix it.

I was completely undone.

Eventually, it being morning nap time, he fell into an uneasy sleep in my arms. I Googled “signs of a concussion” from my iPhone and sought medical advice from Twitter and tried to figure out if his foot was swollen or if it was just the way I was holding him.

Meanwhile, the clock kept ticking.

About 45 minutes after he fell asleep, he woke up. He wasn’t crying anymore. But he wouldn’t let me put him down. He screeched every time I tried to set him on the floor.

Something. Was. Wrong.

And I was getting ready to leave.

I talked to a nurse in our pediatrician’s office. I told her I didn’t think he had a concussion, given he had no signs. But I was worried about his left leg, since his heel and ankle appeared to be slightly swollen and he wouldn’t stand up. She guessed he had probably twisted or even sprained his ankle. The treatment for a sprain is ice, elevation and rest, “which I know is virtually impossible with a one-year-old,” she acknowledged. Of course, we could bring him in if we wanted, she said. But the best course of action was to wait and see.

Wait and see. With time I didn’t have.

Corey and I made the uneasy decision to go ahead and leave. We were both heartbroken, but Corey and I had been looking forward to this trip for months. (Or, in Corey’s case, years. He loves it when I travel with him, and I hadn’t been able to do something like this since before Teyla was born.) A lot of money had been spent for us to attend the Summit, and because Corey had many duties there, he would have to attend, with or without me.

So our wonderful babysitter arrived. We passed on all the information (including Kieran’s insurance card, should she feel he warranted medical attention) and we got in our car and drove away.

I never like leaving my kids. But this? This was something altogether different. My soul was grieved. I was silent the whole way to the airport. (Ask Corey. This is highly unusual.) My heart was heavy with sadness that my little guy, who is normally so happy and busy, was hurting and he wouldn’t have his mommy the next few days to comfort him.

The fact that I was leaving to attend a Summit on orphans wasn’t lost on me.

All around the world, millions of children, this very second, are hurting. They are dealing with things much worse than a sprained ankle.

And they have no mommy to comfort them at all.

This kills me. Leaving Kieran on Wednesday, I think I felt a sampling of God’s grief, His deep sadness that millions of His children have no parents, no protection, no peace. They are crying. He hears. He wants His body on this earth to do something.

I would do anything to restore Kieran.

What will I do for them?

When I got home from the Summit Saturday afternoon, Kieran still wouldn't stand on his injured leg. I took him to the ER to find out he has a small fracture on his tibia. Poor baby. For the next few weeks, he will be sporting a small, soft cast. Someday soon, he'll be walking again, and his leg will be healed. But my heart will always bear this scar.

Lego Kids Fest Giveaway

I stepped on a Lego last night and joined the millions of parents who have danced around on one leg while trying to dig out a small, plastic brick from the heel of one's foot.

You might say Lego has made an impression on me.

(Buh-dum-dum. Thank you. I'll be here all week.)

If you've been a parent more than three years -- or if you grew up playing with Legos -- I bet Lego has made an impression on you, too. Which is why I'm thrilled to be able to give away a pair of tickets to the Lego Kids Fest coming to Minneapolis the weekend of May 20-22. To prevent overcrowding of the 17,500-square-foot Lego extravaganza, tickets are sold in sessions. The tickets for my giveaway are for Sunday, May 22, Session 2, which is from 3:00-8:00 PM. (Not that you have to attend that whole time or show up right at 3:00. But those are your hours to come and play.)

Leave me a comment on this post to enter -- and be sure I have an email address to contact you. There is nothing worse than drawing a winner only to discover you have no way to let them know. I will draw a winner Wednesday, May 11.

Good luck! And maybe the Force be with you!

(My #1 Lego fan taking on a Lego Darth Vader at Legoland in Carlsbad, California, 2009. That day might still rank as one of the Top 5 of his life so far.)