Thursday, December 17, 2009

A Christmas Story

Billy and I weren't sure we'd ever tell the following story. It's not one of our finer moments of parenting. But through the passage of time we've forgiven ourselves and even have a good laugh about it now.

It was mid-December of 2007. Billy and I were still reeling from going from 0 to 3 children in less than 30 days. We were sorely sleep-deprived, trying to juggle night-time feedings of a one-month-old and a three-month old, and getting a 15-month-old adjusted to life in our home after having been uprooted from the only other home he'd known. The Christmas season was in full swing and we were trying our best to celebrate despite feeling completely overwhelmed.

We needed to make a trip to Wal-Mart, and so for only the second or third time since getting all of our children, we bundled up and took them all with us. We put Daniel and Mikea in the double stroller, and Joe rode in the cart. Wal-Mart was packed, and I remember feeling like I was sleepwalking as we pushed our way through the store. We went to the garden area where most of the Christmas decorations were stocked, and after making a few selections, we walked out of that section into the main part of the store. We then paused to discuss where to go next.

Suddenly, it hit both of us at the same time. "Where--???" I stammered.

"GO, GO, GO!" Billy shouted.

I sprinted back to the garden area in a panic. We had left behind the stroller containing Daniel and Mikea.

When I got to the aisle where we left them, I quickly composed myself and walked up to the stroller as if I had been there all along. I sheepishly pushed it back to Billy where we congratulated ourselves on being the Worst Parents of the Year. All I could think was that somewhere within the bowels of Wal-Mart, a security officer had been watching the whole thing transpire.

The babies had been alone for no more than a minute, yet it felt like forever. Certainly long enough for someone to notice. Billy and I were mortified. I know I questioned if I was even qualified to be a parent.

But we've forgiven ourselves, and know that while it may have been the first, it's certainly not the last Parenting Fail we'd have. In fact we may have a few more stories to tell . . . when the time is right, of course!


Rachelle said...

You are both amazing....I'm relieved to know you aren't perfect.

Because I may not have a chance to say it tomorrow: HAPPY 5th anniversary! You are a special couple and I hope that something wonderful is in the cards for your day/weekend to celebrate such an awesome accomplishment.

Five years, four kids.... You're looking good!