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You all, I have a confession to make. It may not be all that surprising once I give you the scenario. Maybe you’ve even done something similar at some point.
I’d like to think none of you believe yourselves to be perfect or somehow far superior than others when it comes to parenting. Or anything really, for that matter. But if any of you do find yourselves being incredibly judgmental, unforgiving, and lacking grace towards others, maybe this confession will show you something. Or maybe it won’t. In that case, I’m sorry you now find me to be an awful and un-perfect parent.
Nevertheless, let me get on with my confession.
I left 3-month-old Turtle Boy in the car.
I completely forgot he was with me and I walked away from the car.
Thankfully, I had my wrap on and was adjusting it without even thinking as I walked away. That, of course triggered me to remember he was with me. Even more importantly, I thank my sister for being with me that day, because there’s a possibility I would have gone into the building had she not said, “are you going to get the baby?”
Now, maybe you’re reading this and thinking, oh that’s not much to confess. But, stop for a second and ponder why you think that. Is it because you feel as if you know me a bit because I share myself and my family’s life with you here in this space? Or do you think that because you’ve done something similar? Is it because Turtle Boy wasn’t really left, since I’d gotten no more than a yard away before turning back?
Whatever your answer, think for just a minute about the reality.
I left Turtle Boy, at 3 months strapped securely into his seat. He was defenseless and I left him in the car and walked away.
That’s heavy. And yes, it deserves a confession.
It wasn’t intentional, yet it did happen. I was distracted, but Turtle Boy’s not my first child. Nonetheless, it was an accident. An accident I would have never thought I’d make. It was an accident which could have had a terrible outcome.
Thankfully nothing bad happened. Thankfully, my sister was there.
Nothing like that has happened since. And I’d like to think it never will again in my life. Yet, I’d previously never thought I’d do something like that either.
My point is, you never know. Really and truly, you never know when tragedy can or will strike. You never know when you may make a mistake that could have terrible consequences. Or maybe you do something you think is ok and relatively innocent, yet something tragic and terrible happens that you never would have anticipated.
Things happen. Mistakes are made. And at the crux of it, you never know. You can’t predict the future and there’s not much point in pretending you can.
This single incident has made me even more vigilant and methodical when it comes to being out with the boys. I don’t beat myself up about it anymore, but just the idea that I could be so out of sorts, honestly baffles me. Not only does it baffle me, it simply reminds me of how fallible I am. It also helps me to extend ever more grace to others.
Special note: Although this story is very true and nothing did happen, it still did. It likely took my sister no more than 1 minute to get out of the car. Immediately, she noticed Turtle Boy still in the car. Despite these facts, my truth remains. The circumstances were that we were going to the funeral home (again) in reference to planning my Dad’s funeral. I was busy, I was emotional, I was neglecting myself and my needs, I was reeling at the fact my Dad was dead, as well as all the tasks that needed done. It was a hard time (honestly, it still is). But the true point of this story and confession is that none of us, not a single one, will never know if or when we might make a mistake.
Have you ever done something you never thought you would? What parenting confession do you have to share?