There was one thing as a mother that I promised I would never do. At 3:12 p.m. on Monday I broke that promise to myself and ultimately to my oldest son.

I forgot to pick him up from school.

My mom was always really busy when I was younger. Between boutiques, PTA, church callings and caring for me and my three siblings, she had a lot on her plate. So we were used to her being late.

We often teased her when we were the last ones left at sporting events, dance lessons and school carpools.

But after sitting outside of singing lessons for the up-teenth time waiting for her in the foyer long after the other class had already started, I made a silent vow to myself to never be late or forget picking up my child. Ever.

Too bad I wasn’t being realistic.

I was checking my email for work Monday afternoon thinking, ”My son will be home any minute.” Then it hit me, the girl he usually rides home with didn’t go to school that day.

My computer clock said 3:12. I was already two minutes late. I raced into my 3-year-old’s room and woke him from his nap. I grabbed him, his coat and my purse and jumped into the car.

When I got to the school, my oldest wasn’t outside at the usual pick-up spot and the doors next to his classroom were locked. So, I carried my 3-year-old — we didn’t have a chance to put on his shoes — and we ran to the other side of the school and rushed to the office.

There was my son. Sitting comfortably in a chair next to the office door. He was perfectly safe and happy with his kindergarten teacher by his side.

He was fine. I felt horrible.

Not only had I broken a promise I made to myself in adolescence, I had forgotten one of my children.

I seriously think I took forgetting him at the school harder than he did. I am sure it won’t be the only time while I raise him that I will get a call from somewhere reminding me to pick him up.  Thank heavens for good teachers who truly care that each 5-year-old makes it home safely.

I think what hit me hardest was the fact that I never want any of my kids to think I don’t care about them. I don’t want them to think that they aren’t my top priority. They are my life. But I think it’s easy as a mother to have dozens of things on my mind fogging up what’s really important.

I know my mom didn’t ever intentionally pick us up late.  Sometimes it just happens that way. Hopefully it won’t happen to us very often.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Elise
    Dec 16, 2011 @ 09:07:31

    Just you remember that everyone has a lapse like that occasionally! I totally forgot Adelyn not long ago and I didn’t even have a good excuse like not being the one who normally picks her up after school! Not only that, but when she was finally picked up, it was an HOUR after school got out!!! Now if that doesn’t make you a perfect mother compared to me I don’t know what will! 🙂

    Just relax and try not to do it again. That’s all we can do!


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