Please tell me I’m not the only one.
I had looked forward to this day all week. My oldest, a thirteen year old gentle giant at 6’2″ with a size 16 shoe, had been gone at basketball camp all week. My youngest and I were out gathering groceries, preparing for a homecoming meal (okay, it was pizza) when my phone rang. It was number one. Pickup time. Turns out that pickup time was four hours earlier than I had planned, and I wasn’t there. Forgetting a kid somewhere is jut the worst feeling as a mom, and probably not a great feeling for a kid either. I was not nailing this motherhood thing.
When number one is gone his absence in our home is felt in a big way. His siblings ask when he’s coming home daily, if not hourly. I realize how much I count on him both as a helper and a source of humor. When he walks out the door to leave I am proud. He walks through life calm and confident. He has a lot of his daddy in him. His willingness to try new things and put himself out there makes me want to be more like him. There is nothing like a week of sleep away camp to make a mom realize how much she likes her kids.
Just like everything else, he takes it in stride. He catches a ride with an awesome grandma of a buddy that was also at camp. Said grandma was perfectly reassuring telling me she had forgotten her own kids too many times to count. “You’re human.” But as moms I think we do strive for perfection. I long ago gave up perfect when it comes to things like my yard or my pantry. But when it comes to actual mothering I want to get it right.
I want my kids to have memories of endless patience but that is so not me I lose my crap on a daily basis, usually with some volume. Too often I get annoyed that my little people don’t behave more like adults and I end up acting like a child. Bedtime regularly lasts ten minutes too long, during which a freak out happens I cannot keep straight who likes jelly and which kid doesn’t like bacon. (Gasp, I know. ) Sometimes I think it’s okay for my kids to know they are not always the most important thing happening. Life happens and they have to be able to adapt. Let’s call my mistake training.
I wish I could say this was the first time I forgot a kid somewhere. That I never left a kid in chipotle, or Sunday school, a parking lot, or at home in their bedroom while we went to grandmas house for dinner while he watched us drive down the driveway. But I’m apparently way too human to make that claim. I did fold all his camp laundry. Let’s call it even.