I failed at this whole mommy thing. Again. The boys had a birthday party to go to – a party for one of their favorite people in the whole, wide world. The one who introduced them to Elsa and taught them to love Disney princesses. The one who gave Tate his first kiss and taught Parker to nap in his birthday suit. They love her as much as they do each other. Probably more — because they don’t shove her nearly as much as each other. I was so looking forward to it for them…
When we got the invitation — only the second social engagement to which they’ve ever been invited — I put it on the refrigerator. Prime time and center stage for all super important things in the toddler universe, and I told myself I would rsvp when it wasn’t the middle of dinnertime. But my brain, saturated with July heat and humidity became a casualty amidst the conquering of Santorini and the inception of the school year and the commencement of football season. Weeks went by.
And then, yesterday, on facebook, I saw the sweetest, little princess with the biggest and best baby cheeks and sassy smile staring down the face of a Mickey Mouse pancake breakfast. Mickey was sporting a birthday. She was downtown in one of Cartersville’s local landmarks and the entire restaurant was singing just for her. She puckered up to blow out the candle and my battered and bushwacked brain managed to stir up a memory – a memory of a palm-treed invite to sweet sissy’s soiree. In the immortal words of Donald Duck, OH, PHOOEY! (Although I’m not necessarily vouching that those were the words I used…)
Do you think… is it too late… I think maybe… I messaged her mama. It’s not too late to rsvp, her mama assured me. YES!!! So I told her we’d be there. We wouldn’t miss it for anything – except, apparently a negligent mother with a tendency to live life like a Waffle House plate of hash browns: scattered, smothered and covered. A hot mess of shredded good intentions.
Fast forward to today, when I’m leveling bookshelves and scavenging countertops looking for the invitation. I can’t find it. I message her mama again to ask the time. Wait a while. Try someone else. Wait a while. I’m certain it’s this afternoon – late afternoon. Pretty certain, anyway. Fairly certain. Mike suggests trying another friend who always has her phone on her. I do. And… we missed it.
I’ve cried off and on for two hours. The boys have no idea yet. They’re still napping. I had told them we would see their Sissy and Hunny today. To the boys, their Sissy and Hunny are better than Disney. Better than Mickey Mouse and Elsa and even better than ice cream. They knew about the party this morning. I told them. Hopefully they’ve forgotten by now. Hopefully when they wake up, we can get them out of the house to do something fun and they won’t remember the wonderful afternoon they were supposed to be having. With many of the people they love the absolute most. Maybe they won’t remember. But I will. I feel so very guilty. I’ve said about a half-dozen of my favorite swear words out loud to the dog and cat. They haven’t flinched. They’re used to it. But they haven’t helped — the animals or the cuss words.
So, to our beloved princess and sissy, I am sorry. So sorry. Your brothers wanted to be there. To her sweet and generous-hearted parents, I am so sorry. I’m not usually like this. I swear (and I’m really good at swearing, so please believe me). To our boys, who were so very pumped – in the jump up and down and shout at the moon and sun and then throw in the better than popcorn kind of happy — that’s how pumped they were… I am sorry. I am so, so sorry. I am just sorry.
And I know it’s not the first time I’ve failed at mommyhood and it won’t be the last. And I’ll try to do better. But that doesn’t mean that this time, like every single time that I fail as a mom, it doesn’t feel like total and complete phooey. Phooey with a capital F – and a few vowel and consonant substitutions…