I got an "Honest Blogger" award, but I don't deserve it. I'm really not that honest. For example, I can see how someone might peruse our blog photos and come away with the notion that our house is always clean and organized and that the kids are perpetually smiling. Not so. I crop piles of dirty dishes and heaps of laundry out of my pictures and I bribe the children to grin and look happy. The Cleavers we are not. So if someone only knew us from the blog, they might be somewhat deceived.
The same holds true for the parking lot attendants at Sunday's stake conference. If they knew us only from that particular parking incident, they'd be misinformed. I hope they come across our blog and read the following: We do NOT typically forget one of our children in the car when we go into church. We don't make a habit of locking them in while we saunter into the meeting, ready to hear about love, kindness, and forever families.
How exactly this happened is up for debate. I know that I was the first to enter the church with our older daughters. That left not one but two capable males to remove the toddler from her car seat and carry her across the parking lot and into the building. When they joined us without said toddler, I gave them the frantic raised eyebrow, upturned arms, "Where the heck is Cholita?!" gesture. The older of the two males ran back to the car where the parking lot attendants were trying to comfort the hysterical solo occupant of the minivan. If she didn't already have legitimate abandonment issues, she probably does now. So you see, if you get just part of the picture, you're missing something. I like to think we're a little closer to the idealized blog parents than the lock-your-toddler-in-the-car type of parents, but some days it's kind of a toss-up.
I can't even say that this was the first time we'd somehow misplaced a child. We lost Lucy once at the rodeo. And unlike the Cholita incident when we realized the mistake within a minute or two, we had been watching the rodeo for a LONG time when the announcer said in his best cowboy drawl, "We've got a little lady here by the name of Lucy who seems to have lost her parents....." I turned to smile at our Lucy (certainly not the poor lost Lucy). "Lucy? Lucy?" I was getting frantic when the announcer handed our own dear daughter the microphone. "Hi Mom and Dad," her pathetic little voice boomed throughout the stadium. Not our finest moment.
And not an isolated one either. The weekend before the toddler-locked-in-the-car episode, Lyle had taken the two big kids on a snow trip with the rest of the youth from our church. There were several drivers and apparently everyone understood that Lucy would be returning home in her dad's truck. The dad was the only one unaware of the plan. Thankfully another man from our church happened to stay behind and he saw Lucy wander out of the bathroom in search of her father. He offered to take her home, but first had her call her dad's cell phone. Have I ever mentioned that Lucy has got some serious acting skills?
"Hi Dad, this is Lucy. I'm still here and everyone else is gone...." Sniffle, sniffle. "....but don't worry. I met these nice teenage boys and they said I could jump in their car and that they'd bring me home."
Lyle swerved his truck over to the side of the highway and came to a screeching halt. "Lucy, do NOT get into their car! I am turning around right now."
He heard laughter and then jump-started his poor heart.
So I think the take-home message from this post is:
We're not deadbeats; but we're not ready to write a how-to book either.
Just had to clear that up.