By Carol Rood
I think I am a pretty good mom. A responsible woman. I didn’t have my first child until I was 31. Not because I planned it that way, but because it just kind of worked out that way. I had plenty of relationships, I just never envisioned myself having children with any of those people. Finally I met a man who I wanted to have children with. That was when I was 28. So, the first pregnancy occurred at 30 and Joe Cool was born was born when I was 31. The Genius was my “surprise” bundle of joy. I wanted to wait four years between my pregnancies, but a carefree birthday evening when I turned 33 brought me my sweet Genius.
I bought and read all of the “What to Expect” books: “….When You’re Expecting, “….the First Year”, “….the Second Year”, etc, etc. I bought healthy baby food. I didn’t let my babies have chocolate the first year. I let my babies “cry it out” to self soothe and go to sleep. I was never afraid to hold and cuddle them “too much”. They had their own rooms with consumer report-approved cribs and changing tables. I had the best car seats, bedding and toys.
I took the boys to the doctor, dentist, played with them, read to them, had gender neutral toys (trucks as well as doll houses). I was a “good” mom. I introduced new foods, one at a time, bought them age appropriate toys. In short, everything the books told me to do, I did. They were happy, and well behaved (for the most part). They loved each other, and all was well in the world.
But even the lofty can fall from their perch.
Fast forward about 9 years. Joe Cool is now 14 and The Genius is 11. I am a very busy mom with three boys at home (Bluebell also has a teenaged son at home with us). I work two part time jobs, I blog, and I am a part time college student. My life is hectic and my brain is scattered at times. One of my jobs is as a Youth Coordinator at the local Unitarian Universalist Church. As part of that job every other year I coordinate a very large program for 13-year-olds that is a “Coming of Age” program. I look at it as the Unitarian Universalist version of catechism and Confirmation.
The day has come for our big church program to honor the kids in the program (of which Joe Cool is one), and we get through the service with success. Many tears of joy were shed by me that day.
Immediately after the Coming of Age service I stay at church to attend a semiannual church meeting, then I have to rush off to pick up a cake for the party to honor the kids that evening! FULL schedule.
After the service Bluebell took Joe Cool and The Hunter home, and then came back to attend the Church meeting with me. The Genius wanted to stay at church during the meeting because the kids were watching “Despicable Me” in the Sunday School classrooms while the adults attended the meeting.
Bluebell and I attended the meeting, which became just a tiny bit intense (budget discussions), and after the meeting ended I drove Bluebell to her vehicle in a nearby parking lot and jetted off to pick up the cake for the Coming of Age Celebration. Meanwhile, Bluebell headed home to pick up Joe Cool to take him to the Coming of Age Party.
Okay, at this point in the story you need to remember what a responsible, caring mother I am. How I pampered and cared for my babies. The joyous pictures I shared. How happy and healthy my boys look. Do you have that planted in your brain?? Do you see what a great mother I am?? Good. So now I can tell you that in my scattered brain, and my rush to go get the cake, and get to the party, I left the church…
without The Genius.
Yes. I left my kid behind. I forgot him.
Bluebell realized we left The Genius when she was about 1/2 way home and immediately called me. Well, friends, I didn’t answer my phone. “Why not?” you ask? Well, because I left my phone at the church too. I just got up and left my phone and my kid. So when Bluebell called me, a nice lady at church (I shall call her “S”) answered my phone and after a few minutes of conversation, the two of them figured out it was my phone. “S” asks Bluebell what she should do with my phone, and Bluebell tells “S” to give my phone to The Genius, because not only did I leave my phone, I left our kid.
Before I get judged too harshly, at least I left our kid at church, where he was safe and dry and cozy. With people who know him and love him. Where he felt comfortable. Okay, I know, I know, I am just trying to make myself feel better.
I guess the moral of my story is that even “good” moms, can goof up at times.
Feel Free to visit me at Coffee, Clutter and Chaos
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Originally published on The Seattle Lesbian
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