Thursday, June 28, 2007

You Have a Great Memory

That's what a friend put in an email to me. Here, I'll copy and paste it so you know exactly what it looks like:


 (you have a great memory!)


She was saying this because I remembered the last name of some of their friends who will be visiting them in July. Of course I remembered it! The section of my brain that contains trivial, nonessential, inconsequential information is rather empty. There are only a few items in there, and I actually find it fun and gratifying to occasionally retrieve one of these items. You know, things like if you freeze an envelope you can open it without destroying it, Trader Joe's and Aldi's have the same owners, one bulky yarn is the same thickness as two worsted (thanks, Jamie!), and if you wet a penny and press it to your forehead for three seconds, it will stay there (I don't have a link for this but it's not too hard to test for yourself).


These facts are fun but relatively unimportant to my day-to-day life. Facts that ARE important are much, much harder to retrieve. Facts like

  • whether I already put water in the espresso maker

  • whether I ever took out the old coffee filter from when I used the large coffeepot two weeks ago

  • whether I ever changed the wash over to the dryer

  • whether I hit "Start" on the dishwasher before I went to bed

  • whether all of my children have made it into the car before I pull away


Yes, this last would be the reason for this post. I did the stereotypical mom thing yesterday, and I am still in shock that I did it. We were at the weekly morning prayer meeting at a friend's house. She has four pre-teen girls who are great at watching/caring for my children during the meeting (apparently a little better than I am...). So afterwards, I loaded everyone into the van and then remembered I hadn't retrieved the drink cooler that I brought. As I was turning to get that, Lily said, legs crossed and bottom wiggling, "I have to go potty! Ooooh, I have to go potty!" So I told her to hurry and go back into their house while I got the cooler. I shut the van door as the A/C was running, got the cooler, opened the passenger's side front door, threw the cooler in, shut the door, and drove off.


As it was so close to lunchtime and I had nothing ready, I headed for the local McD's. We were almost to the drive-thru line when I said, "Lily, chicken or hamburger?" [SILENCE.] "LILY, CHICKEN OR HAMBURGER?!" [SILENCE]. "Ben, turn around and ask Lily whether she wants chicken or hamburger." Ben: "Lily, do you want...SHE'S NOT HERE!!!"


My heart stopped. Now, I have to be perfectly honest about this. My shock and heart stopping had nothing to do with guilt or fear. It had everything to do with total disbelief. I could not BELIEVE I had done that. I don't do things like that. I forget the sippy cups or an extra diaper or to have my husband put his church shoes on when camping; I don't forget children. Normal mothers forget children. Normal mothers think it's hysterical to tell of their horror upon leaving little Johnny or Christie, their racing back to get them, the sorrow and pain on their lost child's face... I am not normal. I don't DO things like this! And if I do, I certainly don't tell about them....


I am losing the battle from all sides. So we turned around, Benjamin laughing incredulously and blurting out through his snorts of laughter, "You LEFT her! You ACTUALLY LEFT her! That is so funny! Do you think she's scared? Do you think she's running through their woods trying to find us? This is so funny! I have to tell Papa! You ACTUALLY LEFT her!" Can it, kid.


When we got back to their house, my friend's children had to call her on her cell-phone, as she had already left to bring Lily home. So she turned around and came back, and I got out of our van sheepishly to get Lily.


Was she scared? Was she sad? Hardly. She was thrilled that she got to ride ALL BY HERSELF in a pristinely neat 12-passenger van. I don't think she's ever seen that much van floor in her entire life. Where were the sippy cups? Where were the popcorn pieces? Where were the Sunday School papers? Where were the camping supplies that you keep in the van at least two weeks after you've gone camping?


I just need to see that a few more times:


(you have a great memory!)

(you have a great memory!)

(you have a great memory!)


Just so I don't forget.



  1. Well, I've had my belly laugh for the day. Now I don't feel so bad about forgetting an envelope in the fridge. ~Mary

  2. Ha, it happens to the best of us. My husband's favorite childhood story is about when his mom pulled away from a park w/out him and he actually ran after the car for a while and they STILL didn't see him. Poor guy. But now they laugh about it.

    I left my 6 yr old at home when we went to church once. I didn't even think we could have left him and we had a bunch of people searching the church for him until one father asked me "Do you think maybe you left him at home?" Inconceivable! He's my loudest kid! I certainly would have noticed. SO hubby ran home and there he was. Praise God-we only live 3 blocks from the church.

  3. Ugh-That's my children's avatar. I'm kerri@

    Gotta remember to check that.

  4. I know I already heard the story, but it still makes me laugh....I love reading your blog in the mornings. I normally read them outloud to Roberta, but she's at yoga this morning.


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