Oh, not that I don't love them more than both my arms and legs, or the entire universe for that matter. And it's not that I don't have the ability to meet their basic needs (though that might be debatable—once I arrived at a grocery store to discover that my daughter was wearing only one shoe. You'd think a mother would notice those things.)
I'm talking about more in the sense that a brain can only hold so much information, and once you reach, oh say, two or three kids, a dog, a cat, and a husband there isn't room for much else.
You start incurring errors.
Weeks after I had Kaden, our fourth bundle of heart-expanding joy, I sensed this might be a problem. One evening after I'd been watching TV snuggled up to TDH (tall, dark and handsome) for an hour or so, I shot off the couch.
You know that shock of alarm when you realize you left the oatmeal on high and now the pot is boiling over as you race to flip the burner off? Only I was racing for the driveway where my precious infant was snoozing away in the backseat of the car.
It wasn't the only occurrence.
During soccer season this year, I dropped Kaden off at practice and his ten-year-old brother stayed to help. I jetted directly to a parent meeting for my oldest son's wrestling program. All day I meant to call TDH and ask him to pick our youngest up from soccer . . . but spaced it.
It wasn't until I was driving up our hill twenty minutes after soccer ended that the boiling pot flooded my mind.
My cell was dead, so with no way to call the coach or my hubby, I hyperventilated through all the horrible scenarios that could have happened to my son. Though the rational part of my brain knew the coach would not look at my child and say, "Huh, your mom should have been here by now. Why don't you go wait over by the sidewalk and watch for her," as he hopped in his SUVand drove off.
But what can I say? I'm a writer, I live in the paralyzing world of what if?
I walked into the house, looked at my husband and like an idiot said, "Is Kaden here?" Okay, hindsight and all that. You don't drop an, "I don't know where our seven-year-old is" bomb on your husband without prefacing it with some details.
I briefly tried to explain, but all I saw was the back of TDH's head as he raced out the door, jumped in his pickup and with tires squealing, flew at mock 60 down our hill. I got on the phone but couldn't reach the coach. Finally reached another soccer mom who was still waiting at the field for her other son and hadn't even noticed how late it was or the fact that I wasn't there yet.
I sank onto the couch, relief flooding endorphins through my body and told her how I had started to panic about never seeing Kaden again. She interrupted and said, "And Logan."
I drew a blank. And then said, "Oh, yeah. That son too."
See what I mean?