Ah yes, the days of "mommy brain".
I'm not sure how long it actually lasts...I think I'm still attempting to recover brain cells from when Ava was first born and it's only gotten worse with each subsequent child. Some women will tell you that it starts to come back when your kids leave the house, but oh wait, by then you are close to wearing bifocals and losing your memory due to age so that's not so helpful.
My mommy brain stories are beginning to become the stuff of legend around these parts...Like the time shortly after Ava was born and Scott and I came into Buffalo to visit for the weekend (we were still living in MA at the time) and I drove his younger sister Caitlyn and I to the gym in his step mom's car. Caitlyn and I were in the gym for almost a full hour when we decided to wrap things up and head home. I reached into my pocket for the keys...nothing.
I looked in the locker. Nothing.
At the front desk. Nothing.
In the cup holder of the treadmill I had been jogging on. Nothing.
It finally dawned on me that maybe we should run out to the car...that perhaps in a moment of distraction I had left the keys on the front seat of the car, or somewhere else inside the car, as I grabbed my water bottle and headphones to head into the gym.
As we approached the car I noticed exhaust emanating from the back into the cool winter air.
No way. It couldn't be. The car could NOT still be on. Still. After an entire hour.
I looked at Caitlyn. She looked back at me.
"Lis! Hahaha. Is the car still on?! Nice work!"
Good heavens it certainly was. Not only had I left the keys IN the car I had left them in the ignition with the car running!
I'm guessing you can see why Caitlyn has never let me live that down.
....Soooo... I thought I was recovering. I mean I'm not always the most organized momma and I do lose my keys and wallets and debit cards from time to time, but things always show up...somewhere.
Which leads me to two recent stories that just might top the keys in the ignition at the gym story...about how things, somehow, came back to me after being in places they should not have been!
Namely, my wallet.
Several weeks ago I decided to get my grocery shopping done in the morning with Ella and Aubrey so that our evening would be more relaxed and I wouldn't have to run out right after dinner. I've figured out how to carry Aubrey in the front pack (which she much prefers to the cart), and Ella at my side while working through a pretty hefty grocery list so all was going well until...
Until, we got out to the car and swarms of pesky bees were shooting about, dodging my cart, and flying around our car like an attack of the flying monkeys from The Wizard of Oz.
I quickly threw Aubrey's carseat in the back of the car, hoisted Ella in and slammed the door shut. I then threw our 20+ bags of groceries into the back of the truck as quickly as I could, shoved my cart in front of the car (no, I did not take the time to walk it to a corral...no judgement allowed for women with small children!) and skirted into the driver's seat as fast as possible.
Grocery shopping done. Bees dodged. Now to stop at Tim Horton's to get Ella a sandwich for lunch so that she could eat as soon as we got home and we'd be all set.
We drove the three or so miles to the nearest Tim Horton's and were waiting in the drive-thru when a lady in a white convertible behind our car started waving at me.
What in heaven's name does this woman want? Do I know her? Did I cut her off? Does she need to cut in front of me to buy her donuts?
I roll down my window to find out.
"Mam! Mam! There is something sitting on your bumper. It looks like a wallet!" She followed it up with a high eyebrow raise that said, And if it is I just might think you are an idiot.
I get out of the car...mortified...without even having to look I know that what she is saying is most certainly true. In the middle of the frenzy of getting two kids in the car and shooing bees I had stuck my wallet on the bumper, loaded the kids and then the groceries and drove off on our merry way.
My wallet apparently hung on for dear life...For THREE miles!
I sheepishly shook my head, rolled my eyes in an "I can't believe myself" sort of way...grabbed the wallet off of the back of my bumper and got back in the car.
"Mom, what did that lady want?" Ella innocently asked.
"Oh honey...mommy left her wallet on the back of the car."
She apparently didn't think that was too out of character for me because she pretty much shrugged her shoulders and began giving me the low down on the type of donut she wanted for dessert.
I shook my head all the way home and started to internally question my sanity.
I also tried to look for a silver lining in the story... I'm always trying to figure out the learning lesson, or the God lesson in my every day shenanigans. Perhaps it is the former teacher in me, or even better the part of me that has always loved to learn. Or maybe it is that such ridiculous things seem to happen to me that I am convinced that either someone is following me in an attempt to get footage for America's Funniest videos or God MUST be trying to teach me something.
We are, after all, always changing, growing, and hopefully becoming better versions of ourselves, right? I'm learning this as a mom...that I am constantly presented with opportunities to grow, to change, to do something a little bit differently next time...
Like maybe to not leave my wallet on the back of the car no matter how big the swarm of bees!
Or perhaps a lesson in slowing down. Who knows?
By the time we pulled into the driveway five minutes later I was laughing to myself. How did that wallet stay on the back of the car for all of those miles?! I swear I could hear God looking down and laughing at me too...in a light hearted, "Oh Lisa" sort of way. The way we look at our own kids when they do something so ridiculous that it is actually funny... the things that make me look at them, roll my eyes and say, "You are such a goofball!"
It seemed to me that the fact that my wallet stayed on the back of the car was akin to a small miracle in my life. The kind of small miracle that says, "See, I'm with you in the crazy details of life right now. Wallet, kids, bees and all."
It was the little iota of encouragement that I needed to carry me through the rest of the day.
It may be a story that Ella tells people for years to come..."Oh my mom...um...yeah, she does stuff like that all the time, but we love her anyways!"
Anyhow...there is actually one other story...that includes my wallet...that happened just days after this and actually did prompt that "memory loss" google search on my computer. However, since it's getting late and I'm a tired momma, I'm going to leave that story for another day...
In the meantime be encouraged by your own crazy moments. Maybe God is using them to teach you a lesson about parenting, or just to remind you that He is there...either way, I can promise you that laughter truly is the best medicine, even when it is at yourself.