To the guard at school who asked me that question when I came to collect my missing wallet: thanks. I've suspected for a long time that I should not have been granted adult status. I'm too flighty, too scattered, too spirited, you name it, I'm too it.
And yet, here I am...Late 30's, four kids to look after, and somehow surviving. I wish I had answered that guard, "Pfft! This? This is nothing. You should have seen me earlier when I'd lost my daughter in Ikea!"
Yup. Lost Maddie today. What is it about Ikea on the weekend in Singapore? People flock to that place like American southerners to a grocery store on a snow day. Wall-to-wall people. So many I can hardly breathe. In our desperation to get in and out, Aaron and I separated so he could take Jack on an emergency potty-break while I checked on the mattresses. I watched Maddie follow them, asked my question of the salesclerk, and hightailed it out of there with Parker and Caleb. Walking briskly to the bathrooms, it occurred to me that Aaron might not have known Maddie was following him. Call, no answer. Call, no answer. Text. Wait. "No, she's with you."
It's a good think Caleb is too young to comprehend bad language. I try hard not to use expletives, but in situations such as these, they have been known to escape my lips. If Parker heard, he didn't let on. We ran through the sea of people. All pretenses of manners and personal space flew out the window. As we approached the bedding section, I saw an employee coming toward us, consoling my tearful girl.
How am I allowed to care for multiple children? I can barely take care of myself! And concerned, wallet-holding guard, you should have seen the time I drove for nearly 2 miles with my wallet on top of the car as motorists frantically tried to pantomime their concerns.
Am I careless? Perhaps. If you look at the definition of the word, perhaps you're right. But I really don't like that word. I do care. I just happen to care about a lot of things at once. Like properly buckling my children in their car seats (when I left my wallet on top of the car). And like watching all four of them climb jungle gyms simultaneously this morning (when I left my wallet on that bench).
Now as far as losing Maddie at Ikea…That one's a bit harder to explain. That was bad. In the end I'm really proud of her for following our instructions (go back to where you first were, seek out the help of an employee, etc.). But situations like that cause me to wonder...How did I get to be an adult? Did someone in charge make a mistake along the way?
Well, the only real One in charge is God, and immediately His word comes to mind: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts."
The most organized, caring, detail-oriented Being I know seems to think I can do this job. So I’m just gonna go with that!