Sunday, February 9, 2014

Thankfully I'm Not One To Point Fingers, But…

So there’s nothing like your phone ringing, the display showing a number you don’t recognize and is not saved in your phone, and the voice on the other end of the line being the voice of a 10yo child you know and love asking, “Where ARE you?”

I shall back up. And for the record, this did not happen to me. But it was my child. And someone else who shall remain nameless.

In fact, I have gone so far as to redact the transcript to protect the guilty party (but you can probably guess who it was…).

Yesterday both members of the PBA had basketball games.

I am going to pause here and just brag on my 12yo for a moment. He’s my “I like to play soccer and don’t want to try another sport” kid.

To be fair, he did try lacrosse last spring and probably would have done well at it had he had a coach who knew one stinking thing about coaching. But unfortunately the coach was a 19yo kid who probably didn’t play lacrosse until he was in high school (because it wasn’t offered around here until a few years ago) and he learned to play one position and that’s it. He probably got no instructions on how to coach and was just young and immature. Case in point: standing on the sideline and apparently texting DURING a game. 


I’m going to let that sink in.

Anyway, my 12yo decided this year to try basketball. Actually two years ago, he said he wanted to play and then when it came time to sign up, he decided against it.

Then last year, he decided he wanted to play…until it came time to sign up and again…he backed out. And then decided he wanted to play (after the registration deadline) but then it was too late and the league was full.

This year I told him he was going to play highly-encouraged him to play. And with that, I signed him up…with only minor weeping and gnashing of teeth.

So…he was nervous. Anxious.  And with some fear and trepidation (I don’t blame him one bit…we are cut from the same cloth in that way…we pretty much despise all things new) he agreed to play. Which was good because money had been plunked down with his name attached and he WAS going to play.

I’m THAT kind of mom. Don’t judge.

Anyway…he was nervous (I think I already said that…I tend to repeat myself when I’m nervous) and the first few practices were a little bit U.G.L.Y. The first game was ok. The second game…not quite so much. Now…we didn’t breathe a word of this to him…we kept up the encouragement, because you know…that’s what we do. We KNEW he was better at basketball than what he was showing because we’d seen him shooting baskets at the gym.

We knew that he was simply nervous (did I say that already?).

But for some reason, a switch was flipped after the third game and he’s been ON ever since. Yesterday alone he had several steals…three of which ended up in baskets. He calmly stole the ball, dribbled it down the court and casually put in a lay-up. Three times.

I’m sure his heart was about to beat out of his chest for fear, but it didn’t show on the surface.

Who WAS this kid? I was so proud.

I just wanted to put that plug in there for him. He plays again next Saturday at 3; if you’re interested in location, please let me know.

But I have digressed…I teased you with an intro about the 10yo.

So also yesterday, the 10yo had a basketball game. His game was at 2; the 12yo had a game at 3.

“Were they at the same location?” you are undoubtedly asking.

Nope. Of course not.

So…we all went to the 10yo’s game first (because it took place first…try to keep up). Because Mr. Always Random is the coach for the 10yo’s team, we decided it would be in everyone’s best interest for me to be the one to leave that game early with the 12yo to get him to his game on time.

Actually, we didn’t really discuss it at all. I said, ‘Hey, I’ll leave early and take him to his game.” And that was the end of that.

So…we got to the 10yo’s game, I set the timer on my phone (these games are always barn-burners and I knew I could not trust myself to not be so enraptured with the game that I would be keeping an eye on the time as well).

After the timer sounded, we left (just the two of us…remember that…I was NOT EVEN THERE once we left; that’s what “left the game” means) and headed a few miles down the road to the other school for the other game.

I was gone…and I had the child to whom I had been assigned. Are you following this?

After the 10yo’s game (in which his team came back to win…see, I told you: Barn.Burner), there was much excitement. Parents talking to Mr. Always Random. Mr. Always Random talking to parents of the players, talking to my parents as well as to his mom and sister (they were all also at the game…so that’s three other cars who could transport people…just in case you were having trouble figuring that out).

The 10yo went to the restroom to change clothes. An offer was made to take the 10yo to the 12yo’s game but Mr. Always Random insisted that it was ok and he would take him.

Everyone got out to their respective cars, Mr. Always Random got his mom situated (sometimes it’s a challenge due to her Parkinson’s Disease) and they all headed off to the other school.

Remember…I was already there at the other school. I had transported the child I was supposed to transport. There was only ONE child to keep track of for these five adults.

OK, really the responsibility lay with just ONE of them… Mr. Always Random.

So as they all pulled into the parking lot, Mr. Always Random’s phone rang. It was a number he did not have in his phone and he did not recognize it in the slightest.

He almost didn’t answer it.

But he did. Thankfully.

And a voice on the other end said, “Where ARE you?”

He glanced in the rear-view mirror and saw the backseat was empty.

At that point, he realized his “mis-step.”

I’m putting it mildly.

“Um…I’m on my way! Stay where you are!”

A quick pull-up to the curb where his sister was waiting, and a transition of his mother from the vehicle to the curb, accompanied by a brief discussion of what had happened, and a “No one needs to know about this” from his sister to his mother; Mr. Always Random was back on his way to the first school.

As he was on his way, his mother made her way into the gym. She wasn’t yet to her seat and she was saying “Mr. Always Random forgot the 10yo at the other school so he had to go back and get him.”

She’s not exactly a vault with sensitive information.

And no, she doesn’t call them “Mr. Always Random” and “the 10yo” but I assume that you’ll forgive me my artistic license on that quote.

Apparently…well, there’s no real “apparently” to this. I still am not quite sure what happened and neither is Mr. Always Random…which does not instill in me confidence for future events in which he has been tasked with transporting children: ours or those belonging to others.

All that to say, here’s the thankfulness part in this: 
  • that Mr. Always Random answered his phone even though he didn’t recognize the number.
  • that our 10yo was sensible enough to NOT go out in the parking lot to look for us.
  • that he didn’t get in anyone’s car.
  • that he didn’t ask anyone to take him to the other school to find us.
  • that he looked for someone he knew.
  • that he calmly asked that person he knew if he could use his phone.
  • that this friend actually had Mr. Always Random’s number IN his phone.
  • that he obeyed instructions and stayed put.
  • that it wasn’t me who did this.
  • that I didn’t kill Mr. Always Random for forgetting the child.
  • that everyone made it home safely last night.


  1. I guess events like that are the reason we still have the phrase, "All's well that ends well." I think every parent has a story about losing, or forgetting, a child--but the universal nature of the experience does NOTHING to take away that momentary panic!

    1. I think it is actually the "after-effects" which are the worst know how you might be calm in a crisis but afterwards you consider what COULD have happened? Yeah...good times...

  2. Dear Mr Always Random

    I know I've barely gotten to know you, bar through various small references in your dear, sweet wife's blog, but I feel as though our acquaintance may have just gotten truncated. You see, those beautiful black-and-grey mourning colours all over your name suggest that you may no longer be around to get to know any better.

    I sincerely hope that this thankful list, the thankful hop and all the happy happy joy sprinkled liberally throughout it will appease your spouse's (justifiable) rage, ire, venom, and otherwise wrath, and that you escape with only minor injuries.

    All the best, from England (sorry I'm too far away to effect any kind of rescue, should you need it)

  3. What she said....ooooh sooooo sorry mr...but wow that kid is pretty cool in a crisis...his parents must've taught him really really well!

    1. Yes well, it's not so much the thing you want them to have to remember...but I suppose we're thankful that he did. And that he didn't panic.

      Yes, great teaching on the part of the "parents" ;)

  4. "That it wasn’t me who did this" - yes! That's probably where my head would be. Meanwhile, kudos to the parents (even the one who forgot the child) for teaching him (whether intentionally or not) to solve a problem and remain cool-headed. Definitely worth being thankful for.

  5. This really cracked me up! Love the way you wrote it. And very glad it all turned out well. I bet you had a blast giving the Mr. grief for this!! I would never let him live it down.

  6. Saturday my daughter wandered by herself in Wal-Mart!!!! I thought she was with her brother in the toy aisle but she wasn't! Panic heart racing when I realized started calling her name loud. she answered right away!!!!! Whew!

    By the way my kids are 12 and 11 my son did not want to hang with me while shopping for Hanes panties!
    I had no choice because I really needed them well I bought 32 pairs time they'll be in college ! LOL!!!

    Great story...go easy on the hubs!!!
    Like the song says;

    And if you love him
    Oh be proud of him
    'Cause after all he's just a man
    Stand by your man

    LOL ....Have a great day! Marisa