This weekend was one of those magical moments in time when grandma offers to take the children. No questions asked. I mean sure I worked the whole weekend. And the ol’ ball-and-chain was gone for a good chunk of it. And since I let slip the kiddos were gone I had to spend time with people outside of my house. During a pandemic no less. But when the kids are out of town, no matter what else is going on, you have a certain level of freedom.
A few weeks back, the boys started hockey camp. It had been delayed a few months for obvious reasons, but they were finally able to get it up and running. They had a session scheduled for tonight. I could’ve had them stay at grandma’s and enjoyed one more night of peaceful bliss, but I didn’t want them to miss practice. So I headed out (on my day off) to go pick them up.
Three hours plus on the road (for me), and we were home. It wasn’t too much later where I thought I maybe should’ve just left them with grandma, but whatevs, hockey will be here soon. I packed up their equipment, I packed up some food for the ride home, and we headed out. Another half hour later, and we’re at the rink.
Due to protocols we have to get dressed in the parking lot. I started with large child, and got on all of his lower half equipment while younger child sat in the trunk (his choice). I then had them switch spots so I could get this show on the road. That’s when it dawned on me.
I immediately checked large child’s bag, and sure enough, I had forgotten his helmet at home. My heart sank. I put my head in my hands and tried to think of a way to fix it. Under normal circumstances I could just run home, and if worse came to worse, maybe I could borrow one from someone. But those aren’t options right now.
Having kids is awesome, even if sometimes you want to lock them outside and make them fend for themselves. Shit happens, but very few things in the world can make you feel worse than when you’ve failed your child. It was just a helmet. It was just hockey practice. It was one time. But it didn’t matter to me. At that moment in time, I did essentially the worst thing I could’ve, and I didn’t have a way to make it better. All I could do is explain to both of them what happened, apologize, and promise I’d play hockey with them when we got home.
The silver lining in all of this was it didn’t really matter how I felt. Large child assured me that people make mistakes, and that was OK. I’ll never forget a helmet again, but having that conversation with my kids realized it’s not the end of the world. And they’re gonna do alright in this world.