Lost and found

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How many times can you forget your youngest child before inevitable therapy is involved?

The number isn’t two is it? I’m hoping it isn’t two, because that’s how many times we forgot GirlWonder at school last week — in the space of four days.

Lost. Kind of.

The first time, she claims that she told us numerous times for a week prior that track was starting on Monday after school. She further alleges that she spent that Monday morning reminding us of this fact while double checking the items she had packed in her track bag.

Finally, she carried said large track bag with her as they left that day.

Naturally, neither her brother or I heard a word of this. When she wasn’t waiting for him after school, we both panicked. Immediately.

He was searching the school and grounds and questioning all her friends while I was speed dialing the office (closed) and beginning to text her friends in between calling her. Those 17 missed calls from mom in a three-minute period aren’t overkill at all.

She finally called us back just short of our deadline for calling out the National Guard. To say she was exasperated with us would be the least of it.

“I TOLD YOU BOTH! No one listens to me.”

We assured her that it was just a momentary oversight. She’s our baby. Our darling. We adore her.

Repeat offender

Then two days later, I was working away on a deadline when my phone lit up with “who is picking me up from track?” followed moments later by “???”

Folks, I don’t have to tell you where this is going, do I? You probably already know. I was at work. Mr. Wonderful was out of town and BoyWonder had just left on a date.

Fortunately BoyWonder’s girlfriend is also the baby of her family (although I think her people are much better at not forgetting her repeatedly). He immediately grabbed his girl and returned to retrieve his baby sister. I’m sure they both had a good laugh as they drew straws to see who would get stuck with mom in her dotage. This dotage, by the way, is apparently happening now.

Not me. I would never have thought I would ever be the mother to forget to pick up one of her kids. Or lose track (momentarily) of where one of my children was. I have no idea how this happened. Basically, it’s been a very busy season and BoyWonder, always responsible, is officially raising his sister.

Found

It is a special bond between brother and sister. I doubt he remembers the first 22 months of his life without her, but I remember the moment they met. She was less than 24 hours old. He marched up to her on sturdy toddler legs, peeled back the blanket over her wizened little pink face and said clearly and firmly, “Go outside?”

His first words to her were an invitation to adventure. He’s been carrying her along — and under his wing — ever since.

I know people believe that birth order can influence personality and I can certainly understand why. BoyWonder is cautious and assesses every situation carefully before entering. Reserved, but strong too, he is rarely caught off guard. Like his father, BoyWonder, is calm, cool and capable.

GirlWonder is sparkle and self-assurance. She strikes most people as very confident and she certainly is. This is likely in some part because her brother has always paved the way — in school, in sports, in life. He goes first like the ultimate Scout.

With his wise counsel and intel paving the way, she tends to charge into and after what she wants. I think the Good Lord gave her a big brother because He knew that Mr. Wonderful and I — while terrifically loving — were sometimes going to stink at multitasking.

Mr. Wonderful started a new job. I have one I absolutely love. The children are blooming and growing.

Did you catch my National Honor Society brag last week? I can’t be all bad. I’ve got very wise children. Although they may do momentary battle over chores and snacks, but in all ways they have each other’s backs. Even if they sometimes don’t have each other’s schedules.

So, I can dwell on the embarrassment of having forgotten the whereabouts of my precious child twice in the space of four days, or I can revel in the fact that in the end our family works as a team and we will always be there for each other.

Even if we are a few minutes late.

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Warm, witty and just a wee bit warped, Kymberly Foster Seabolt is a native of Kent, Ohio, who survived childhood exposure to disco and grew up to marry and move to the country. Her column weaves her special brand of humor with poignant, entertaining, and honest portrayals of parenting, marriage, and real life. She currently lives in northeastern Ohio with her husband, two children, two dogs, two cats, and numerous dust bunnies who wish to remain nameless.

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