I know
Ugh. This one's a downer.

Dishonor Band Mom

On Tuesdays Raphael goes to band practice. He plays in the Colorado Honor Band (beginner trumpet), and every Tuesday he goes to the local middle school for rehearsal from 4 to 5 PM.

Last week I forgot to pick him up.

Yeah, really. It's not like it slipped my mind and I was ten minutes late, either. FORTY FIVE MINUTES after practice ended, I got a call from an unfamiliar phone number. It was Raphi, sounding very small. "Uh...is anyone coming to pick me up?"

Gargle. Gasp. That's a moment that will live on in my 2 AM stare-at-the-ceiling-in-rigid-panic sessions. 

So I dashed out the door and over to the school, where Raphi was waiting. He was fine, and kept telling me it was NO BIG DEAL and actually it was kind of fun, and please stop crying now, Mom?

OH, but I felt so TERRIBLE! What a horrifying thing to do to your child! What a heartless and cruel and horrible mother! The only thing I can figure out that caused this is that I was taking a nap when Clay left to take Raphael to band. Clay usually takes him, then he goes to the gym. I pick Raphi up. But THIS time, I vaguely heard them leave, and the puddle of my brain vaguely registered Oh, band practice. Clay is taking care of that.

So even though I got up something like twenty minutes later, I never gave the issue another single thought. Until the small-voiced call. When I died.

That evening I got an email from the director of the band program. It was...snippy. "I just wanted to be certain that you were aware that band rehearsal is from 4 until 5," she snipped. "For the safety of all involved, please remember to pick Raphael up on time." There was more. It was snippy.

And if I see this dear director any time soon, I am going to give her a hug. I mean that sincerely. Because when I read her email, I swung around from "guilt-stricken pile of mush" to "good Lord, get a grip. It was a mistake" almost instantly. Seriously. 

Then I did the best thing ever, and I asked people on Facebook to share with me their happy child abandonment stories. They were my favorite things I read all week. So all in all, it was okay. I also believe that Raphael will survive, so a win all around.

And if you would like to share with me YOUR happy child abandonment story, PLEASE DO! I can't wait. 



I know I am always shocked when I see picture of Raphi because he is older than i expect but really he is not six is he? I do not have a child of my own and maybe I would have a differnt opinion if I did but people are way to freaked out about child saftey nowadays.

I mean I understand that you felt bad but Raphi is old enough to wait for a while on his own. People freak out about child abductors and how their children cannot be unsupervised at all. When we were you we were allowed to go pretty much anywhere. We were sent out after breakfast during holidays and not expected back until dinner time.

There have been numerous studies that show that there are no more child abductions and such than there were in the 70's and 80's but they are just reported more now.

Sorry you got me on my high horse!

Then again my favourite child abandonment story is that the UK Prime Minister and his wife left their baby in the local pub were they had gone for Sunday lunch! They each had their own cars with them and assumed the other had the baby and did not notice until they got home. Made all the newspaapers here.


I sent my oldest to sleep-away camp for the first time a few years ago. It was a shortened version of the regular camp, so just a few days, not a whole week. The whole family drove down to see him off and the camp gave us pick up information that included the reminder that we needed to be prompt when picking up so none of our babies got scared or were traumatized.

It was perfectly clear in my mind that pick up was Wednesday evening and I had a plan in place for my other boys while my dad and I drove down, stopped for dinner on the way, and got there right on time to reunite with my T. So imagine my horror when I got a call from my mom Tuesday evening asking if I had heard from camp and was I supposed to be picking him up? WHAT!?! I sobbed and berated myself the entire, endless 90 minute drive. If I had been able to kick my own a$$, I would have been black and blue for weeks. Finally got there and my son was completely fine, hardly knew anything was wrong, and was actually glad I was late because he got to have extra dessert while he waited. Total mom fail, but I now have a story for the ages!


I feel mad at the snippy email. I hate snippy responses to SINGLE ISOLATED EVENTS. If you were CHRONICALLY, CARELESSLY late, then she could CONSIDER snipping; after ONE SINGLE INCIDENT after presumably MANY MANY FLAWLESS PICK-UPS, she is OUT OF LINE and I don't like her.


See, that is EXACTLY how I felt about it! Raphael has been attending this band rehearsal since September. Max participated in TWO YEARS of Honor Band before that. I have NEVER BEEN LATE BEFORE. So clearly I...forgot when pickup is?
BUT! I gained ALL THE AVAILABLE POINTS from that email, because I sent back a very humble apology. Oh, and then blogged about it. Nearly all the available points, anyhow.

Salome Ellen

We left our at-the-time-three-year-old at the after-church coffee hour, and got all the way home. In our defense, we were also giving some neighbor kids a ride, so the kid head count was actually higher than usual. The good part is that by the time we got back -- breaking a few speeding laws, I think -- our little social butterfly hadn't even noticed we were missing, and neither had the other adults.


In 1964, my aunt and her mother left my cousin, then three years old, at the Bronx Zoo. Admittedly, she had five other children under the age of nine, but STILL. :-) They found her at the Security Office, calmly eating an ice cream cone. A great family story. Another time, my mother kept coming up one number short in the count off when the eight in my family were travelling in Germany, in the late 60's. Near panic, she finally remembered she was one of the numbers! My story is when the flu had me down and out with a 102 degree temperature. I'd asked a friend to pick up my daughter at afterschool. I got the dreaded phone call, from the office, five minutes after final pick up. I had to drive 20 minutes across town at rush hour, to get her. I have not missed my flu shot since then!


I drove in to pick up my 10 year old daughter from soccer practice. No one was at the soccer field. After circling the school several times I found her. She crawled out from behind a bush and ran to my van. Soccer practice ended early, coaches & kids left. Mom's cell phone....off. I relive this moment often during my own 2 a.m. Ohmigods. It should be noted this child is now 29 and incredibly self-sufficient. I'm still not over it.


The year was 2004/05, I can't remember. But at the time, I was driving back from northern Arizona to Phoenix. I stopped at a rest stop in Camp Verde. My step-daughter, who I know was asleep, had gotten out to use the restroom. I didn't see her go in or come out. I called out her name in the van, but no answer. Assuming she was asleep, we headed into the late night. I was so engrossed in a conversation with my babysitter at the time all the way back to Phoenix. An hour later, we arrived and herded everyone back in to get some rest. I looked in the van and back in the apartment for my stepdaughter, but couldn't find her and no one seems to know where she went so suddenly. The phone rang and it was the state police asking if I knew a little girl by the name Ashley. I said yes, and we are looking for her. He responded that she's with him at the moment back at the rest stop! I was horrified! I broke all speed limits and got back to CV in 30 mins (a trip that normally takes an hour). I prayed all the way, cried and scared out of my wits! She was 13 at the time. I got there and hugged her and cried and apologized profusely! She said it was no big deal because some people were watching out for her and gave her some food. And all that whole time, she wondered if I had gone to the store and will be right back. It wasn't until after 30 mins that she started to get worried. That was my horrific 'leaving kids behind' story. Bad stepmommy. :(

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