Oh, boy! (eh, girls)
It’s been one of those days. I wasn’t planning a post for today but I just need to get it out and here I sit with tears in my eyes at what could have happened.
This morning was quiet and slow to get started. I was able to pick up the whirlwind of debris that gets left after grandma visits for a few days. I was able to sit and drink a cup of coffee in the quiet house. Then one by one my little cherubs slowly made the descent down the hall stairs and we began the breakfast to-do. Most mornings we all come down together and eat together, but this morning I decided to take the few minutes to straighten up while they slept.
No qualms; no issues; just a quiet morning. Then, 9:30 came around and it was time to get going. I made my second sale in my etsy shop (YAY!) and needed to get to the post office to ship my sign. I also had plans to meet up with my long time and dear friend “D” for lunch and pumpkin picking. We all dressed in our tights and sweaters, hair brushed and out the door. But something inside me was a-miss. I just couldn’t get it all done in the time I needed to. I felt flustered, a rare occasion, I’m usually laid back and have everything under control.
Well, we made it to the Post office and after a brief talk with my girls preparing them to stand still and stay as quiet as possible as not to disturb the other patrons, we made our way into an empty post office. The post office is never empty. Anyway, we shipped the sign and everyone remained relatively calm. Back in the car and on the way to the Farm, it was a nice ride, otherwise uneventful save for Oak and Dogwood falling asleep.
The farm was busy. So busy, there was almost an hour-long wait for our food, despite my calling in our order ahead of time. Our friends had already been there for an hour and had time to play and eat. We were late. We are never late. Or, we have never been late until now for some reason. THIS time. THIS pregnancy I can’t get my bearings. I don’t have it all together, I’m not calm. I’m a mess!
It’s taking a lot of swallowing my pride to admit all this. I don’t feel like a failure, but I don’t feel like myself. I’m out of control and it’s not a good feeling.
After we finally got our food and ate, it was time to roll over to the pumpkins.
Ash had asked several times by then if she could go and play. The farm has a nice shady play area with a big wooden train for the kids to climb on and a petting zoo-like area where they can feed chickens and goats. I told her time and time again, “not yet we have to do ___insert another activity___ first and then later we will play.” So we were looking at pumpkins and taking our annual photo with our babies before lally-gaggling and wrangling our crew to go and pay for the pumpkins because my dear friends had to be leaving.
As we are waiting to pay I’m talking and getting as much conversation in our visit as possible when I notice three of my five aren’t by my side. I look up and they are about 20′ away running into the play area. Dogwood, safe in the stroller, and Ash patiently awaiting my approval, are with me and I’m very familiar with this farm and knowing the play area is completely fenced in with only one way in and out, I’m comfortable not being that crazy mom who runs through a crowded market yelling after her kids to get back here…etc. I let them wander. (I’m no helicopter) But, after paying for the pumpkin and saying our goodbyes to our friends, Oak and Lemon come out of the play area HYSTERICAL and in tears. Some strange woman picks up my three-year old as I say, “I’m right here.”
Oh the drama and travesty! I’m not one of those people who make a scene or feed off of attention, actually I’m the opposite so to have all this going on had me upset to say the least. All these eyes on me and my screaming kids, a spotlight shining on our frazzled current state, ugh!
I hugged my crying kids, asked if they were hurt and we finished saying goodbye to our friends.
Later while Ash and Dogwood were playing and looking at the animals, I asked Lemon why she was so upset and this next part shattered me to pieces. “I thought you left me, mommy.”
I asked her what made her run away from mom in the first place and she said she was just so excited.
We talked, and cried. I told her that I would never leave her and assured her that I knew where she was the whole time. I also scolded her for breaking a big rule and leaving mom without permission.
SO, what could have happened? My three daughters could have been kidnapped or killed. How can I be so cool about it?
I’m not! I”m going crazy inside and I could scream and cry and ball up in the fetal position for the rest of the day, but I won’t, because I have five little faces watching me and my every move. They feed off my energy. They get to be who they are from a combination of me, their dad and their own devices, so I have to make sure what they get from me is sane, not unstable and easy to give up. I have to be strong for my girls.
For not having planned a post I spit out nearly 1,000 words in an emotional whirlwind of honesty and parental shame like I’ve never done before. I’m exposed. My secrets out. I don’t have it all together.
Have your kids ever run away before?
And that’s okay.