Did you think I had forgotten this place? I didn’t. Things have just been a little, um, busy.
But let me tell you about something I HAVE forgotten lately.
Yup. Just plumb forgot them. What has happened to me?
* * * *
When I was young, I took piano lessons from a lovely Swiss woman. Her husband, a kindly, hunched over little man who didn’t speak any English, farmed almonds and they lived in a house made of glass walls in the middle of an orchard. Her studio room with vaulted ceilings and white carpet housed a shining black grand piano that made my stomach flutter every time I looked at it. Being in Mrs. Busch’s home was breath taking.
So was waiting for my mom.
More than once, I was convinced I had been forgotten. The sun would set and I would feel panicky and desperate. Seeing the blue Vanagon cruising down the lane brought sweet relief, embarrassment and anger. How, how, how could she forget me?
Now I know.
Now I know.
I have tried to convince myself that my mind has been too crowded with things to do and starved with too little sleep that things are falling through the cracks. Things like my kids. Too bad that nothing makes that feel any better. . .
Is this what happens when you have this many kids? Because here how it happened;
On Sunday, we got a call in the morning inviting Tess to the large indoor water park in town. We were tired after a full day of work and wedding the day before, but it seemed too fun to pass up. Other plans were shifted and we seperated, Jac leaving to take Max and Philip and Ellie to Lowe’s to sell popcorn (there’s still time to buy!!) and Tess and I heading to Watiki. After I dropped her off, I met up with my college pals for a birthday celebration then hurried to pick up Phil and El to take them to ANOTHER birthday party. While there I took a moment to catch my breath and enjoy the company. I waded far into conversation and found comfort in the advice and experience of friends. I was there long enough to have Jac meet me. Meanwhile, Philip and Ellie played and were in the periphery. It wasn’t until I saw Max that somewhere, in the recesses of my mind, my mind tallied up my children and found one missing.
Then, yesterday, I dropped Max off at a new after-school faith formation at Cathedral. He would be there an hour. An hour. You would think I could handle that. But when I came home to napping babes and a husband hurrying out the door, I was quickly distracted. I was elbow deep in several projects at once, listening to Philip recount his latest dream in gory detail when I glanced at my watch and wondered about dinner. Again, deep in my mind I unconsciously numbered my chicks.
“Philip! We have to get Max! Get in the car!”
The girls were torn from there beds and all were loaded into the van without shoes. My embarrassment was increased by the not so comforting thought that perhaps he was with Grandma in her office. How I didn’t want my mother-in-law to know of my failing! How I didn’t want Max to be alone on the curb.
God bless the Wingerts. Dr. Wingert and his boys had patiently waited 25 minutes with my boy so he wouldn’t be alone. Relief, embarrassment, self-loathing – I was inundated and fought against tears.
God is so good. I was most concerned that Max would be upset and confront me on my forgetfulness. I was fearful I wouldn’t know what to say and he would see how badly I fail all the time. But he didn’t. He didn’t run to the car with hot and angry tears. He didn’t yell, “Where have you been?!?!” In fact, he didn’t seem to miss me at all. Instead, in the warmth of the setting sun, he laughed and threw golden leaves at his friends. He didn’t have a care in the world.
Thank you, Lord. Thank you.
* * * *
It should be said, that those times mom was late to pick me up at piano lessons, I don’t know if I really was forgotten. Mom really was busy with 50 bajillion other things. And piano lessons were 20 minutes away. Things were crazy. And even then, she managed to be the one to take me and pcik me back, I am sure, with much disruption to her day.
But I forgot. I TOTALLY forgot. And not once but twice. In one week.
I can’t forget that soon enough.