Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Do you Know Where Your Children Are?

I will NOT be the 2007 recipient of the “Mother of the Year” award. How am I sure when it’s only the 10th day of January? I forgot my teenager yesterday…twice! She tutors children at an after school program on Tuesdays, so after work I pick her up and take her home before going to my Tuesday evening aerobics class at our church. Yesterday was the first time since Christmas break that she had been to the program, and it just did not dawn on me that she was there. At 5:05pm my cell phone rang and she laughingly asked me if I had forgotten to pick her up. “As a matter of fact, I did”, I told her. Fortunately, I was only a few blocks away and picked her up in a matter of minutes. She seemed only slightly offended that I had forgotten her, and we laughed about my scattered brain….a great response from a 14 year old whose moods fluctuate like spring breezes. Because I was now running late for my exercise class, she stayed with me and amused herself in the church library while I sweated to the oldies. After class I drove home, and walked in the back door to meet my puzzled husband who said, “Where’s the girl?”
“Oh, crap! I left her at the church.” I raced back to the church and found her standing under the canopy, shaking her head in disbelief that the woman who gave birth to her and nurtured her for the last fourteen years had forgotten her a SECOND time in the span of AN HOUR AND A HALF. Needless to say, I willingly gave in to her special request for pancakes for dinner.
What is wrong with me? I did not have a stressful day yesterday. I didn’t have a lot on my mind. I just couldn’t stay focused. I was and am still very embarrassed about it. Even though I work outside of the home, I have always worked very hard at making her feel loved and secure. I have been a room mother, chaperoned field trips (Can you believe other people trust me with their children???), volunteered at her schools and spent as much one on one time with her as possible. I have taken vacation days for us to have an occasional “girls day out”, and I feel like I am a pretty good listener, too. I feel as if I destroyed all of those efforts within an hour and a half. I’m just glad that she’s able to laugh about it and hope she doesn’t end up in therapy 20 years from now because of my parenting mistakes. On a positive note, I’m pretty sure I’m in the running for the “Head up the Butt” honors.

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