It’s not about the gift, it’s the little hands that made it.

I love how on Mother’s Day my husband lets me sleep in. (Hell, who am I kidding, he lets me sleep in most weekends) I love how my children have spent some of their school week making me something that I will cherish forever. Nothing says Happy Mother’s Day like a foam flower cut out and glued in a pot by my five year old, or like the flower pot hand painted by my nine year old.

These gifts are precious to me. While I did appreciate the two dozen roses that my husband sent to me and the box of candy that went with it, eventually the flowers will wilt and the candy will have long been shared away with my chocolate loving children.
I will always be able to go back to the gifts my boys made for me in school and remember what they looked like at the age of five presenting me with that foam flower. How Wyatt was so proud of what he had made, smiling at me as I unwrapped his prize for me. How he handed me a homemade card that he took so much care to color so neatly in the lines, and to write his name so perfectly. I will always remember that at the age of 9 Peyton was still excited to have made something for his mother that he hid it from me in his book bag until I woke Mother’s Day morning. He ran to retrieve it from his bag as soon as I walked out of my bedroom. He beamed at me as I admired my new hand painted flower pot. ( I will always remember that even though he is about to be ten, he will always be my baby.) I will remember how Rhett might be a little too young to make something for me for Mother’s Day, but with every smile and audible, “MUAH” kiss I knew it was his way of telling me he loves me.

I think every Mother’s Day of how many Mother’s Day came with me as a child trying my best to make my mother have the best day of the year, only to end up in tears by the time night had fallen. I will always remind myself how there is nothing in this world that I need on Mother’s Day more than the love my children show me on a daily basis. If it weren’t for them I wouldn’t be a mother. They make me who I am. To me nothing says I love you Mom like a hug around the neck and a kiss on the cheek. The flower pots are a bonus!

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He’s not there…

Ordinary days seem just that until something comes along and turns just a regular day into something…insane.

I pick up my oldest two children at school at 2:30 everyday. Everyday being the key word. To me being a stay at home mom that’s my job, and that’s what I tell my boys is that my job is to take them to school and pick them up. We only live about a mile and a half from the school anyway. It’s pointless for me to put them on the bus when I can take them there in five minutes.

Well I get to school to pick them up and one of the teachers calls over their walkie-talkies for my boys. Only one walks to the car. Peyton. He looks at me and mouths,”Where’s Wyatt?” I say, “I have no idea where is he?” So I proceed to roll down my window and yell to the counselor, “could someone please find my child, where is he?” She just stands there with a blank look on her face. One of the other teachers comes up to the window and says, “Well I think I saw him with his teacher, let me go in and get him.” I then told Peyton to go inside the school, (The counselor was telling me to go park while they get him, I was holding up the line) and make sure that Wyatt got to the car safely.

I pull into the parking lot and sit for a few minutes while they get Wyatt. I also wonder why in the world would he have been inside and not in line waiting for me. The line grew shorter and shorter until no one was left to be picked up and the other teachers went back into the school. At this point I started to worry. So I started the car and pulled to the front of school. No one else was coming so I didn’t need to make the kids walk all the way to me. I’m sitting there in front of the school in my Mommy shorts, and my stained Mickey shirt. I never have to get out and by the time I do out on “going out” clothes Rhett messes them up with something so most of the time I don’t bother to get dressed up to drive to pick them up from school. (BIG MISTAKE. From now own you better believe that even if it is 100 degrees outside I will throw on some blue jeans and a T-shirt)

I can see Peyton standing in the front of the school with one of the male teachers. Then I see them take Peyton into the office. So I get out of the car and go inside. I ask the receptionist, “Where is Wyatt?” She looks at me and says, “We don’t know.”

Hearing those words felt like someone was ripping out my stomach. “You don’t know.” I asked. the I see his teacher with the most horrified look on her face coming out of the office.

Me: Um…where is Wyatt?
Actual teacher: I don’t know.
Me: WHAT DO YOU MEAN, YOU DON’T KNOW?!?!?! I had just yelled at Wyatt’s teacher.

Then the principal came out of the office and asked me to step inside. She began to tell me that they didn’t know if Wyatt had gotten on the bus or not, but they were looking for him. While she is telling me this I hear Peyton in one of the conference rooms screaming and crying. I told the principal that I needed to call Chris and I needed to do it now. I don’t usually take my cell with me to pick them up (another mistake). She took me into her office and let me call Chris. I then told her that Peyton was in the next room very upset and to let him come in there with me. At this point I was shaking. No one knew where my child was.

So I called Chris.

Me: “Chris we have a situation, Wyatt is missing.”
Chris: “What?”
Me: “When I got to the school he wasn’t outside and no one knows where he is.”
Chris: “SO what are they doing?”
Me: “I don’t know I’m freaking out.”
Chris: “Well you have to stay strong for the other two, so be calm.”
Me: “I’ll call you back when I know more.”

* Chris has been in Va for 2 weeks and isn’t coming home until tomorrow. TOMORROW*

The next thing I know the principal is on the intercom calling for every teacher to be in their classroom and every student that is still there to be in the lunchroom, (There is an after school program at the school and most of those kids were on the playground) she was putting the school on lock down. She then calls and somehow manages(within about 5 minutes) to find out that he wasn’t on any of the buses. Then they call the police.

I’m freaking out. Peyton hears everything that is going on and his mind is going crazy, he is screaming,”WHY, OH WHY IS THIS HAPPENING I JUST WANT MY BROTHER BACK.”
I said, “Peyton baby you have got to calm down you are making my stomach do flips.”

One of the teachers comes in the office and asks what Wyatt was wearing. I told her and she says I think I put him on the bus to Karate for Kids. Why? He doesn’t even ride the bus? So they begin to call all of the day care facilities that have after school care and the one they think he is at won’t pick up the phone, so one of the male teachers (He is awesome) gets in his car and drives to this Karate for Kids to check if he is there.

At this point I’m sitting on pins and needles. I can’t say that the worst doesn’t cross my mind. I was praying with all my might that he hadn’t gotten in the car with someone. What if someone had lured him into their car while he was waiting on me. I mean it could happen, if they put him on the bus why couldn’t it happen?

Ten minutes pass and then the office secretary says that Mr. A has him that he had in fact gotten on the Karate for Kids bus. She puts me on the phone with Wyatt who is only concerned with getting a snack. He didn’t even know that we were in panic mode at the school.

After I talked with him I looked around the office and there stood his teacher in tears. She hadn’t been in the class most of the day because of testing and had no idea why he got sent to the buses. Of course I cried and hugged her telling her he was okay. I knew it wasn’t her fault but it was somebody’s fault. Someone hadn’t done their job right and if one child gets lost in the mix of things then you don’t have enough teachers per students. Apparently the teacher who usually puts the kids on that bus was out so the teacher that put Wyatt on that bus didn’t know he wasn’t suppose to be on the bus. On top of that the bus driver said to her that they had a new student today and had no idea what that new student looked like and figured Wyatt was that new student, never questioning why he was there.

The school tries to be so safe where our kids are concerned. Somehow they didn’t think about this safety issue.

So Wyatt is home, and safe. He got to the daycare and played on the playground asked for a snack and never really thought he wasn’t suppose to be there. He was just going with the flow. He did tell me that that bus driver was suppose to take him home. I said, “No Wyatt, that driver was taking kids to daycare not to their houses.” I hugged him tight and told him everyone was really scared. He said, “I’m really so sorry Mom.” I don’t blame him for getting on the bus, he is 5. he didn’t think about it fully enough to realize that he really shouldn’t do it. He was just riding the bus with a friend, doing what the teacher told him to do. But boy did he scare me.

I am an emotional wreck. I know he is home and safe with me but in just that one hour today I thought my world was closing in on my family. I don’t know what I would do without Wyatt in my life. I have a hard time remembering my life before Wyatt was in it. It’s like he has always been here. I’d feel better if I could cry really hard, but I can’t.

All I can keep telling myself is that he is home. Home and Safe.

I’m sure all of this was hard to read but I had to get it out or I was going to bust.