It has taken a while for me to get to the point of sharing this story. I had written it over and over in my head before it ever hit the paper and then I updated it several times before I threw everything away and just decided to expose my heart.
I will always love my wife and her response to me on a day that I will always remember…BUT WOULD LOVE TO FORGET.
On one of those hot ATL days I was extremely tired on my way home from work and called my wife as I often do in an effort to make her life easier. Sometimes I am sure it is my life that I make easier with this, ‘I am almost home call’, that allows me to stop off at the grocery store before I get home and she sends me back out.
On this day I was told the girls were really needing to get out of the house. I mean they are homeschooled and my wife does not do outdoors….unless she is running 13.1 miles. (and she does that alone and it never takes her long)
So I told my youngest three I would take them to the park for the 1.5 hours before we needed to be at the dance studio to pick up my oldest. So I arrived home and picked up my 7 yo, 5yo and 11 month old. While we were off to the park, which would cause me to be outside in the heat playing, I came up with a genius thought. Why don’t I call our friends in the next neighborhood over and stop by to visit their 3 girls and let the girls scream, tear up their house and I can get some A/C at the same time. This will prevent my tired body from having to take more of this ATL heat.
“I love the thought.”
I called and they were home! “Yes!”
The truck could not come to a stop soon enough before my 7yo & 5yo were yelling and screaming and hugging their friends. I could hear them all the way from around the corner.
I was just happy to get out of the heat and feel some A/C, which was a much better deal than the park.
After a wonderful 45 minute visit we got up to go pick up my oldest and our neighbor asked, “Where is the baby?”
My eyes bulged out of my head and I took off running for the truck.
I ran to the truck and was frozen right before I got to where I could see her.
I made it to her window, which was cracked, and could see her face.
I had never seen eyes like that before…
They told me. “You forgot about me!” “I actually thought you were never coming back!” “WHY did you do this to me?”
I grabbed her and immediately looked at the temperature gauge in the truck and it read 87 degrees. I then remembered that for the first time in my life I started cracking the windows. This was something I had only started a few days before and was glad I had. Every window was cracked but I was praising God because she had soiled her diaper and had cried to the point where her tears had dried. I felt horrible. I just handed her to our friend and sat in the passenger seat of the truck and cried. I really felt like I made it to her JUST IN TIME.
I could not sit for long and think about it because I needed to pick up the big girl from dance so after giving the baby some time inside we were all on the way. The 7yo and 5yo always go inside the dance studio to pick up their BIG SISTER, but today I said, “Please do not go inside.” I could not deal with everyone running out to discuss it after they told on me. So we waited for BIG GIRL to come out and headed home.
When I arrived home all I could do was hand her to my wife and hug my wife in tears. I was surprised she even wanted to touch me, but she did and it was the longest cry of my life. I left home with all my daughters and almost, due to my carelessness, came home without one. I am the person who always thought that anyone who could forget their child was JUST PLAIN CRAZY, but now I had done the unthinkable.
I will not share our exact conversation but just know that My wife forgave me…would you have?