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.