We were all getting ready for church, and I was quite pleased that things were going fairly smoothly. No one was searching for lost shoes, and it looked like we'd even be leaving the house on time. Usually for morning church we take two cars because Marc has to be there early for prayer with the pastor and other elders, and we often give one or two other members a ride to church. Ryne and Anna are usually the first to get ready on Sunday mornings, so it is not uncommon for one or both of them to ride with Marc. Usually Marc will tell me if any of the kids are riding with him, although I have had to call a few times on the cell phone to find out who is in his car.
So yesterday morning before we headed out the door, I started calling for the kids. I wanted them to sign a Father's Day card for their uncle. Grace and Ryne both signed the card, and I called again for Anna. And called. And called. I turned to Ryne and Grace, asking, "Where's Anna?" They both simultaneously, without hesitation, replied, "She went with Daddy." In the back of my mind a little voice told me that didn't seem right because no one was ready when he left, but they were so convincing. So we left for church.
The next part of the story is unrelated to my bad mom award, but adds more drama. We've had trouble with our car the last couple of months, but after $1,800 in repairs everything was supposedly fine. Or not. On the way to church some mysterious vapor started coming out of the vents, making me and my passengers very nervous. But everything on the dash looked okay, so I continued driving. The vapor disappeared, but then I felt something burning my right heel. I had anti-freeze oozing out all around my feet (same thing that had happened a month ago). The heat gauge still was okay, so I just prayed we would make the last mile to church.
As we pulled up to the church, I told the kids to go find Daddy to come see the car. He came out to the parking lot, and with that calm expression he has when everything is going wrong (love that about him) he asked, "So do you know you left Anna at home?" Oops. With Octomom and John and Kate dominating headlines these days, keeping track of three kids seems like it should be a piece of cake. But I'm telling you, it was just a mater of time before something like this happened. It's amazing this was the first time we left a kid behind.
Thankfully, it was Anna I left. She could hold her own. We live 20 minutes from church, and it was my week to volunteer in nursery, so she was going to have to stay at home. With one operating vehicle we were going to have trouble getting everyone home as it was.
To Anna's credit she handled the situation very well. She even had her own mini church service, playing the hymns "Sweet Hour of Prayer" and "A Mighty Fortress" on the piano and having some quiet time for prayer. I'm going to give her the benefit of doubt that had we not taken her Bible to church with us she would not have neglected the reading of God's Word. : )
What I found most amusing was that once the church family heard what had happened everyone started sharing their own stories of children being left behind at various places. One lady even told how her son (now my age) was left behind at a service station in Wyoming and no one discovered he was missing until they were 30 miles down the road!
Despite the car troubles and my bad mom moment, we had a wonderful Father's Day. Not only were we able to show our love and appreciation to Daddy/Hubby, my own dad was in town. Double blessing!
So, I'm curious. Have you ever forgotten a kid? I'll share my Bad Mom Award with you!