Horrible Parenting: Exhibit A

Oh, friends.  I messed up royally this past weekend with Bean.  I have felt horrible for days now and try as I might to tell myself that these things happen, I just can’t shake the guilt.

On Friday, we were out of school because of the hurricane, and a friend asked if Bean could come over to swim in the afternoon.  He had been over there for a few hours when the friend’s mom texted and said the boys wanted Bean to spend the night and was that okay with me.  I didn’t think twice and said I’d drop a bag of overnight clothes for him in about an hour.

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And then the following things happened:

  1. When I dropped the clothes at the house, I had every intention of seeing Bean, giving him a hug and kiss for the night, and making sure he was good to go.  Instead, when I got there, the friend’s older brother answered the door and I just dropped Bean’s overnight bag with him and left.  I even knew as I got in my car that I should have seen Bean and made sure he was alright with staying for the night, but I was running errands and instead I thought, “He’s fine,” and I left.
  2. Later that night, as Chris, Gracie and I were heading out to dinner, I had this nagging feeling that I needed to speak to Bean.  At the very least, I thought, I should send the mom Chris’s phone number in case she couldn’t reach me for some reason.  But we were on our way to dinner and I thought, “He’s fine,” and I never called the mom.
  3. When we got home from dinner, my cell phone had died.  So, I took it upstairs to my bedroom and plugged it in to charge while Chris and I went downstairs to the family room to watch a movie.  I even thought to myself, “I should charge it down here with me so that when it comes back to life, I can hear if there’s a call or something.”  But I didn’t.

Yeah.  All of that sounds like it’s leading up to something awful, right?  It totally was.  Bean has slept over at people’s houses before and has NEVER called home, but the ONE NIGHT my phone isn’t with me is the ONE NIGHT he calls home.

When I finally came up to bed around midnight, I found two missed calls and several texts from Bean’s friend’s mom.  Bean wanted to come home.  And all the messages and texts had come an hour before.  Which meant Bean had been sitting there upset and homesick at his friend’s house for almost two hours.  I felt AWFUL.

I immediately called and said I was on my way to get him.  When I finally picked him up, he didn’t say much in the car.  But as I was tucking him into his bed at home, he whispered to me, “You didn’t even pack Mr. Bear.”

(insert knife into heart)

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“Oh, buddy,” I said.  “I wasn’t sure if you wanted him or not since there were other boys there.”

“And you didn’t pack any pajamas.  I didn’t have anything to sleep in,” he whispered again.

“Well, I thought you’d sleep in those basketball shorts.”

“Oh,” he said.  “I didn’t know.”

So, I kissed him, hugged him, and told him how sorry I was for not checking in with him first and then for not having my phone charged.  We snuggled for a minute and then I turned off his light and he went to sleep.  I don’t think either of those things would have been enough for Bean to want to come home normally, but Bean does better when he knows what the plan is, and I’m sure the last minute change to spend the night seemed fun at the time, but maybe bothered him as the night went on.  Mr. Bear and pajamas were the final straw.

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I have felt awful all weekend long.  I’m sure Bean will recover – he woke up happy the next morning and hasn’t mentioned it for the rest of the weekend – but I don’t know if I will.

If you need me, I’ll be over here.  Holding Bean’s hand for the rest of his life.

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3 Thoughts to “Horrible Parenting: Exhibit A”

  1. You’ll be fine. Why so guilty? You and he will laugh about this in years to come. It’s not so bad unless I’m missing something.

  2. suburbanmom2

    Ugh. I knew where that story was headed. I got a sinking feeling in my stomach as I knew what was coming next , been there, done that as the saying goes. “He’s fine…” and then bam, my first instinct to check was correct. Why don’t we heed our instincts ?! 😩 He will be fine, probably is already, but you will be scarred for life ! Hang in there, that icky feeling will pass.

  3. Becky

    Not horrible Katie – human. You set an amazing example when you respected him enough to apologize. And you are not saddling him with the onus of “being perfect”. Everybody makes mistakes, even grown-ups. And even parents. Or as I say with my own kiddo, ESPECIALLY parents. Bean will always have struggles that you won’t be able to help him through. 🙁 (It’s my least favorite part of parenting) I just try to remember, through my tears, that those struggles are powerful teachers of resilience. You are rocking motherhood!

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