On the way to pick up Parker I lodged our SUV firmly in a diagonal position in the driveway. I had already run back in the house ten times to find the perfect snack/drink combo to keep Sawyer quiet for the ride so I was left with about 15 minutes to complete the 20 minute drive to school. Once my tires were threatening to create their own fire and ice show, I gave up and called my neighbor to beg her to pick up my son. We’re still new at this kindergarten thing and I had no idea how Parker would do with a change in routine but I had no choice. I asked my neighbor for help and threw in an “I’ll watch your two year-old” to sweeten the deal and off she went.
With one child taken care of my palms began to sweat over the next. Ashlyn would be home soon and some days a tiny chink, or a large SUV, in the way of her afternoon plans could send us all running for the sled hills. I called Mark for driving help and while taking a picture of how well I had cemented our vehicle into the driveway I dropped my phone in the snow.
Now I had no phone and no way to prep my autistic daughter for the game of Tetris I had played with our driveway. A dying phone, two children home and two soon to arrive, I admitted defeat and the need for stronger anti-anxiety meds and headed inside.
The time ticked in my ears even though we don’t have a grandfather clock as I waited for their arrival. Parker got home unfazed by what I was sure to be a life-changing moment in his kindergarten career and I continued to batten down the hatches for Ashlyn’s appearance.
I heard her coming up the drive before I saw her. She was laughing. Hysterically.
I looked out the window to see her shaking her head and saying “oh my mom, oh my mom” with giggles sprinkled between her words.
Then my mind did that thing where you think a million thoughts in the time it takes to say half a word. I flashed back to a fake Christmas tree I had put together with branches in all the wrong places and the time I started a fire in our microwave while trying to be crafty and that one unfortunate day when we had to throw out a massive bowl of cookie dough for fear that dog poop might be inside. On all of those occasions, every single one of my “Mom Fails,” the kids had laughed. Sometimes before them, but usually after, I laughed too. We’ve giggled our way through botched crafts and forgotten directions and I’ve given up (almost) the never-ending quest to do something perfect.
Some day my memory will catch up with my mind or maybe I will just forget my own name and realize that the mom-made disasters might be the best part.
And the kids are going to be just fine.
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