Now that October is almost over, I have a moment to catch my breath and reflect on September. As it does every year since my oldest started school, September kicked my butt. Aside from the annual cluster of back-to-school errands, meetings, and volunteer "opportunities," my brain got lost in the shuffle.
I should have known it was off to a bad start when I was late picking up my son after his first day of Kindergarten. Nothing like getting a call from your neighbor asking if you're planning to pick up your kid to bring a surge of Mommy guilt that will last the whole school year.
Over the course of the next few weeks, I found myself pulling up to the drop-off zone with my boys only to discover that one or both of them had forgotten their backpacks, homework or lunchbox. I'd roll my eyes, assure them it would be okay and I'd get it to them later, then roll out and repeat the trip with their stuff. We finally had the talk that their school things were their own responsibility and that I would not be able to save them by bringing what they had forgotten every time.
Only a few days later, I was walking my boys toward the drop-off area when I noticed my oldest was wearing crocs instead of sneakers on a gym day. When I asked him if those shoes were okay for gym, his panicked expression told me it wasn't. I managed to drop the kids off, race home with my daughter to pick up his sneakers, speed back to the school to drop them off in the office, then turn tail and run to my daughter's preschool for a morning meeting as class mom.
Pretty proud of myself for getting everything done despite the sneaker detour, I beamed as he came out the door that afternoon.
"Did you get your sneakers in time for gym?" I asked him.
"Yeah," he replied quietly.
"Why are you limping? Did you get hurt in gym class?"
He just pointed at his feet.
I looked down to see his black sneaker on his right foot and his little brother's silver one on his left.
"Can we please just go home instead of playing today? My foot really hurts from this shoe."
Not only did his Wonder Mom bring him a mismatched pair of shoes with one two sizes too small, but he had kept them on all day instead of only for his gym class.
I helped him change back into his contraband crocs and wrapped my arm around his shoulders as we walked back to the car. I got my kids buckled into their carseats, sat down in the driver's seat and paused.
"Oh, no!" I said, smacking myself on the forehead.
"Why aren't we going home, Mommy?" came a voice from the backseat.
"I left my keys on the playground!"