OK, confession time. I forgot my son last week. I mean, not all day or anything, just for about 11 minutes last Thursday night. And I remembered as soon as he called me. The phone rang and I literally answered the phone: “OH MY GOSH JACK, I’M SO SORRY! I’M ON MY WAY!!” Fear, embarrassment, overwhelm, guilt and shame rushed through me.
I’m blaming it on COVID and quarantine-brain. I’m NOT overanalyzing questions like, “Do I subconsciously not like him?” “Is this because he was disrespectful earlier in the day?” “Am I a bad mom?” “What will the coach think of me?” Nor am I thinking about things like, “No other mom does this.” “I can’t believe I dropped the ball on the second practice pick up.” “Are you new at this parenting thing Amy???”
Ok, I’m not thinking these things anymore. But driving (over the speed limit) on the way to my son’s middle school, I was thinking ALL OF THESE THINGS. I called my daughter – to let her know I would be late getting home. I called my fiancé – to get some kind of reassurance that I’m not a horrible person. And I called Jack back twice to reassure him I was coming.
When I got to the school (23 minutes late in total), Jack was standing with his coach showing him videos of rodeos from the past season. They were both smiling and laughing. I pulled up to them, jumped out of the car (with no mask, because damn COVID!!) and began apologizing.
The coach smiled at me and it wasn’t even the sympathetic “it’s ok, all high-strung, working moms act this way” kind of smile. It was genuine. He said, “No worries, we’re all out of practice. Jack is fun to hang out with.” And that was all it took. I blinked back tears, hugged Jack, thanked the coach and we got in the car.
I started to apologize to Jack again and he said, “Mom, it’s really ok, you’re a great mom.” It’s as if he knew some type of Jedi-mind trick into what I was thinking.
We’re all out of practice.
Those words reminded me of the importance of giving ourselves grace as we begin to return to our schedules, our busy-ness, our kids’ activities and social engagements. We’re out of practice.
We’ll get there friends, I promise. Let us all be like Jack’s coach with each other – grace and patience through connection.