I got to my sister-in-law’s this morning and unloaded the kids from the van. We had parked across the street. Brady waited by the side of the van until I told him to cross. He ran across the street and tripped and fell over the curb, got up without missing a beat, and ran into the house. I followed behind him, dragging the car carrier, two bags, their tablet, and Sully by the hand.
When I got inside the house, I unloaded the milk for Colin, the food I brought for the big boys, and the random things the kids brought with them today. I bent over Colin to take him out of the car seat, unzipped the blanket and discovered that he was not strapped in. Wait a minute, did I already unstrap him, I thought. No, no I had driven from my house to my sister-in-law’s without him strapped in. I felt like I had been punched in the stomach.
I thought back to the morning. I wasn’t rushed at all, I actually had more time than usual because Brady didn’t have school today. Heck, I even had time to make the taco meat for dinner so that Mark wouldn’t have to do it since I don’t get home until nearly bedtime on Mondays and Wednesdays. I remember putting him in the car seat and I don’t remember being distracted by anything, so I really just don’t know what the heck I was thinking.
I thought about our drive in and how Colin was vulnerable the entire time. We were laughing and singing the whole way. My Beatles CD has been stuck in a broken CD player in my car for months so Brady asked me to sing his favorite songs a capella. He likes “All you Need is Love” and “Eight Days a Week.” I kept screwing up the lyrics so he demanded that I google them and we all had a good laugh. When I think how quickly that drive could have turned tragic it makes me feel ill. Even when we got out of the car, suppose it was me who tripped over the curb and not Brady. Ugh.
Everyday when I leave, before I back out of the driveway, I always say, “I’ve got three boys and three boys strapped in, right?” I quick check my rearview mirror to make sure. Colin is covered in his blanket so I can’t actually see that he is strapped in. So now it’s back to the drawing board to come up with a new system to ensure my precious cargo is as safe as possible. When it comes to transporting my kids, there is no room for mother error.