Monday, November 18, 2013

"I promise, this will NEVER happen again!"

My little guy joined The Good News Club after school on Thursdays.  It's a Christian club that meets for an hour once a week.  Seems simple enough, right?  He stays after school, then I race out to pick him up after I get off work at 4:30.  No sweat!

The first week went off without a hitch.  5:00 rolls around, and *boom!* I'm there on time.  Huzzah!

The second week....?  Well, let's just say that my brain took a vacation at a most-inopportune time.  

5:10 p.m.  My cell phone rings.  I ask myself, "Whose number is that, do you suppose?" and decide to go ahead and press [send].  Good thing!  

The voice at the other end sweetly introduces herself, and that’s when my horror sets in.  “Oh, crap!” I mindlessly exclaim. (Never mind that she introduced herself as a pastor’s wife – oops!)  Apologizing, I explain to her where I am, and that it will take me at least 20 minutes to get to the school.  “No problem,” she says to the frantic mom on the phone. “But, would it be ok if I take him to my house to wait for you?”  Sure, she could be a psycho axe-murdering lady, but I’ll take my chances and hope that she doesn’t call Child Protective Services.  She explains where she lives (right next door to the church that her hubby pastors), and I rush to get him. 

It’s not the first time I’ve forgotten to pick up my son.  Poor kid; I’m sure he’s developing a major complex – one that will require YEARS of therapy to resolve!

Anyway, I get to her house, and he’s hanging out in the front yard, on the porch swing.  He’s not stressed out, and had a great time, both at the GNC and at her house.  She’s very sweet – albeit a tad bit introverted, so I’m certain I overwhelm her – and we chit chat for a while.  Needing to get home, I apologize for about the hundredth time, and swear it will never happen again….

Yea; right.

Two weeks ago, my son politely reminded me in the morning, before school, that he had the GNC that day.  So guess what?!!  I was there on time (actually, a few minutes early!)  My neighbor’s kids haven’t been picked up yet, and I don’t see the mom, so I try to call her to see if she wants me to bring them home.  (I’d been thinking we should car pool anyway, right?)  At any rate, the number I have for her is disconnected.  Her son seems disturbed to see me, and not her, so I promise that I will wait until she picks him up before I drive off.  Feeling very accomplished and responsible – adult, really! – I head home about 5 minutes later, when his mom shows up. 

That brings us to last week. 

My hubby and I both got off work early; one of our children had a couple of grades that had slipped into the “caution” zone, and we felt that it was very important that we take her to her Parent-Teacher conferences and meet with her teachers.  It was chaotic, because the conferences are held in the gym of her school; all of the teachers sit at tables, identified first by the subject they teach, then their last name.  We had already met with a couple of her teachers, but the teacher we most needed to meet with had (of course) the longest line.  As we’re heading to that line, my hubby’s phone rings.  It’s our oldest daughter, saying something unintelligible to my hubby.  Exasperated, he thrusts the phone at my head; “I can’t understand what she’s saying!”  As I put the phone to my ear, all I hear is “Good News Club!” and I’m certain the blood drained from my face. 

Ooops – I did it again!

What I haven’t mentioned here is that my cell phone battery died while I was at work.  I hadn’t bothered to charge it at home, and I didn’t have a charger at my office.  The only charger I had with me was the lighter-charger for my car.  Therefore, my cell phone was not on my person, but in my vehicle.  It’s rather hard to hear it ring from inside the gym….

My hubby, who probably wants to get out of meeting with the math teacher almost as much as he wants to win the lottery, insists on picking up our little guy, but “where do I go?” is his question.  As I’m trying to formulate directions in my head, my growing panic demands that I go to my car, because I know she will be calling me.  I just know it!  So I start barking orders at my hubby to stand in the line he most wants to avoid (“No, you stay there because I have to get my phone!”) so that I can go get my phone and rescue my “forgotten” son. 

As I turn on my headlights and navigate my car out of the congested parking lot onto the empty streets of my town, I am grateful that a) the roads are not nearly as busy as the school gym and parking lot, and b) that I remembered to charge my phone and turn it on!  At about that exact second, as if on cue, it rings.  Before she could even get more than her name out of her mouth, I prolifically apologize, confessing my horror and embarrassment, all at the same time!

I have to say, she truly is the sweetest thing ever, because she didn’t bat an eyelash about it, and almost more importantly, she didn’t laugh out loud when I sheepishly proclaimed,

“It won’t happen again.”

My son, on the other hand, sums it up the best: 

“I wasn’t really surprised, Mom.”