Friday night the girls were invited to a two hour birthday party at a local bounce house facility.
This meant two things:
1) They would have an opportunity to run, jump, eat cake and pizza, and then shake their sillies out before settling down for the evening after a long week at school.
2) I would have an opportunity to run some desperately overdue errands, helping me to shake some of the momma sillies out of my head, which is what happens when too many overdue errands start to pile up in my mind (and in the back of my car!).
The party was for the daughter of a family who we know from church and really love and the mom had sent me a text saying, 'Feel free to stay or head out for a bit'.
A note like that is like a free hall pass that sends all sorts of images of sugarplums and freedom dancing through my head. What book could I read? What errands could be done? Where's my journal, the one with the dusty cover? Shall I sit quietly and write some scattered thoughts?
Oh, the opportunities were endless!
While I temporarily labored over whether to stay or leave, (because that's what we moms do-- spend all of our time on the lookout for a moment to take a deep breath or get a few things done and then when the moment presents itself we feel guilty about it) Ava asked if I was staying (Bah!).
I struck a deal with her since, by this time, I had concocted a plan to run some errands.
Hey babe- how about I'll go in with you girls, make sure you're settled and have someone to play with, stay about half an hour and then run out to the store for an hour. I'll be back for the end of the party.
For emphasis I added that I needed to run to Wal-Mart for Halloween candy and to look for the white hairspray she was hoping we could find before Friday so that she can spray her hair to match her Elsa costume.
A deal was struck.
Ok Mom. But only because you're going to get candy and hairspray.
After school we had some snacks, signed the birthday card, wrapped the present, made sure we had our socks on (no bare feet!) and ponytails in (it gets hot in those places!).
Mom had the bag with Dad's too small shirt and my too small sweater to return to Marshalls, the chipped desk organizer to return to TJ Maxx, my coupon for JC Pennies where I needed to pick up a couple of fleece blankets (long story), and the list of things that I needed from Wal-Mart, which mostly consisted of candy and hairspray.
I also threw a book in my purse (because an hour feels like an exponential amount of time in mommy world and I envisioned myself getting all of that done, eating a quick and quiet dinner AND having time to read a page or two in my book!) and we were out the door, feeling completely prepared and ready to go.
I felt completely organized, on top of things and excited about the plan.
We arrived at the party, the girls settled in and connected with some friends and started to bounce away until they could have cared less if I was there or not. I said my goodbyes, checked in with the other mom to make sure it was still ok that I snuck out, and pranced along on my merry way ready to execute my plan.
Oh, the plan.
I should SO know better by now.
As I drove out of the parking lot a very clear thought presented itself to me, "Your wallet is in the diaper bag that you took to the playdate with Aubrey earlier today. The diaper bag is hanging on a kitchen chair. At home."
I stopped on the side of the road and started fishing through my purse hoping I had been smarter than that.
Nope. Hadn't been smarter than that.
I had all of my returns, receipts, coupons and shopping lists but no wallet.
I sent my husband a text...
I left my wallet at home.
I feel so sad for you right now. Do you need a hug?
I did manage to find a very crumpled five dollar bill at the bottom of the purse that I did have. That and my library card and an old used Starbucks card. Neither of which was very helpful at the moment.
I drove to Arby's (the closest fast food restaurant) hoping to find something on their menu for $5 or less since I hadn't eaten dinner and purchased one of the most disgusting salads I had had in a l-o-n-g time.
I took the salad, drove to a parking lot across the street from the bounce house place, and figured since I had the time and had at least packed a book in my purse that I'd eat and read for 20 minutes and then go back into the party.
I turned off the car, but left the keys in the ignition and read a few pages of 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker (a very interesting and convicting read, I might add), while finishing my gross Arby's salad.
I must have turned the car to the almost off position, and my husband forgot to tell me that the battery in the car was almost dead. So, when I went to turn the keys to start the car to head back to the party...
I laughed out loud. The entire last hour had been so comical that there was nothing left to do but laugh.
I called Scott who was going to strap the baby into one of the girls big car seats and come to my rescue, but fortunately one of the dads at the party had jumper cables and I learned how to jump our truck (Score! I might need the information at some point in the future, right!).
I finally ran back into the party telling the girls that the car was outside and still running and that we better go before (with my luck) someone got in and drove it away!
My sweet friend Sarah (who was throwing the party) told me that maybe I should stop blogging because it is as if all of this ridiculousness keeps presenting itself on purpose as material for my blog posts.
I swear sometimes I wonder if she's right.
But, I probably won't stop blogging because what fun would that be? Foiled plans keep me on my toes and keep reminding me that motherhood is about adjusting, and readjusting and readjusting again.
We continually recalibrate our lives to love more, serve more and stretch ourselves in places we didn't even know we needed stretching...
It's as if God keeps dropping life lessons my way...
Need more patience? How about some lost library books, extra whining, a burnt dinner and kids who have no desire to go to bed?
More stamina? A very busy day followed by a night with a teething toddler.
More grace? Spilled milk, crushed crackers and an gymnastics leotard that always seems to be MIA 15 minutes before we leave the house.
More flexibility? A night with plans to run errands foiled by a forgotten wallet and a dead car battery.
At the end of the day I realize these are such small problems given the scary state of affairs all over the world. We are blessed beyond measure and have much to be grateful for. I also know that God is growing me into someone stronger, better and more able to cope with a greater capacity to live the life He intends me to live. One day and one lesson at a time.
So, in the meantime I will quote Robert Burns, "The best laid plans of mice and men aft (often) go awry" only I think it needs a slight alteration to suit this season of life...
The best laid plans of moms with kids always go awry!
That's the motto I'm learning to live by (: