"What are you doing?" I asked. "I'm bringing you you're lunch, remember?"
"I'm bringing this so if I have to wait for you then I won't look stupid just sitting there with no food. I can eat the crackers in my lunch box."
"Jewelz, I'll be there on time. I promise."
"Yeah, I know Mom, but I'm going to bring it anyway."
For the record, not only was I on time but I was 10 minutes early. Our lunch went well and I got to meet a few of her friends.
Last week was P week for Jenna. Her teacher sent a note to send in a mini pumpkin because they were going to do a project with them. She also asked for parents to send in extras in case someone forgot theirs. I looked for them at Price Chopper but didn't see them anywhere. I meant to make it to Walmart but forgot to go. (I'm trying not to go to any shopping places unless I absolutely need to to help stop unnecessary purchases.) On Thursday Jenna's teacher emailed pictures of the kids putting their mini pumpkins in water to see if they sank or floated.
Thankfully there was a picture of a smiling Jenna and a floating pumpkin. Some other mother came through for me when I failed.
And then last Friday I committed the unpardonable sin: I sent Jenna to school in a cute little dress -- on pajama day.
Friday was Ryan's Cleft Clinic day and we needed to be in downtown Kansas City by 8:00 a.m.. I had to take Emma's to my mother's house by 7:00 which meant that I left home by 6:50. The night before I stayed up late laying out clothes, making muffins for the children to eat for breakfast since I wouldn't be there in the morning to cook their breakfast. Julia and Ross are usually up around 7:00 and Jenna gets up around 8:00 but everyone had to be up about 6:40 so I could make sure they were really up and getting dressed. When I kissed Jenna goodbye she was wearing her darling Gymboree dress that she loves, the one we got before school started and has a identical version in a smaller size in Emma's closet so they can be "twins."
I wish I could say that I realized this blunder by 10:00 but it wasn't until about 11:30. Ryan and I were still at the Cleft Clinic and I realized my error when I checked my Blackberry and saw an email from Jenna's teacher with attached pictures of the children in their pajamas. My heart sank and I nearly burst into tears. I couldn't bring myself to look at the pictures. I couldn't bear the thought of seeing my sweet little girl's heart broken face among all the smiling, pajama clad children. If I didn't look then there was hope that someone had realized my error after I left and fixed it.
I immediately began to come up with a million excuses as to how and why I forgot but I stopped myself instantly. I could make excuses all day but the fact remained. I broke my baby's heart.
Ross' last home football game is on Halloween night. The last home game is always Senior Night when they recognize the seniors and their parents at half time. I figured that Halloween with the small children was still doable. Halftime would be after 8:00 and it gets dark by 7:00 here. We could attend our cul-de-sac block party/chili dinner, get some Trick-or-Treating in and still make it to Ross' game on time. But Saturday morning I got an email from one of the mothers announcing that Senior Recognition was changed to before the game, at 6:30. I was doomed.
Last year Jenna didn't get to Trick-or-Treat because we were stuck in Vietnam. This will be Emma and Ryan's first Halloween. I was excited to see Ryan's reaction to it all. To not go Trick-or-Treating will devastate Jenna. But Ross is a senior and will never play football again. How would Ross feel if he was the only player without a parent?
Some days its hard being a mom.
By the time Julia came home from school last Friday I had worked myself up in to quite a state. As soon as she walked in the door I nearly attacked her.
"What did Jenna have on when she went to school this morning???"
"Her Hannah Montana pajamas"
My heart felt lighter than it had since lunch time. "Then she remembered after I left?"
"No, I was taking her to the neighbor's house when Carter's mom saw her and reminded her it was Pajama Day. I ran back in and got her pajamas for her and she changed at Lori's house."
Saved again by another mother.
I then went an opened the photos attached to the email Jenna's teacher sent.
And there was a beaming Jenna in the back middle of her class.
I would like to think that from this point forward I will never disappoint nor let down one of my children again, but I know that is impossible. I am far from perfect, so imperfect some days I don't feel worthy to call these beautiful children mine. I can only strive to do my best, clean up the mess when I do screw up and thank the mother's that save me when I fail.
Thank you Courtney.