A dear friend of mine called me in a panick reliving the “crime” she felt she committed as a parent.

“SHE LEFT HER YOUNGEST DAUGHTER IN THE CAR IN THE HEAT OF SUMMER.”

IT CAN HAPPEN TO ANY OF US.  We are tired as we carpool our kids back and forth.  The sun is ablaze making us feel lethargic and not as keen.  I’m so thankful she shared this with me so I can spread the word that these are real life situations that happen to the best of us.

She’s an amazing, stay-at-home mom to three kids in the beautiful, yet scorching suburbs.  And she learned a hard lesson yesterday. She is not to be judged.  She gives her heart and soul to these children.

This is our conversation:

Cindy’s Story:

So yesterday I did the worst thing ever as a mother and realized I needed to chill.  I was so tired and hot,  I took the kids out to eat with my friend who drove her kids to the restaurant separate with my second daughter, Penelope, in their car.  I walk into the restaurant and ran into my eldest (Victoria) kid’s friend’s mom.  We talked for about five minutes.  

Then Penelope (second child), who was riding in my friend’s car, says “where’s Kate (four year old)?”  She’s with Miss. Amy…no?”  I swore I held her hand and walked into the restaurant.

 I couldn’t find her anywhere.  I panicked.  It was over 100 degrees.  I run out and I left her in the car.  It was my eldest daughter’s hand I was holding and thought it was my youngest’s hand.  

It was the scariest moment of my life.  And I couldn’t function for the rest of the day or sleep.  I didn’t tell my husband because  I am afraid he would say, “what are you doing all day?” I keep replaying the whole scene in my head.

My daughter kept saying, “Mommy, you forgot about me!!!”  The thing I realize is, it can happen to all of us.  I shouldn’t beat myself up, but it’s so scary.  I’m the type of person who always makes sure I have all 3 of my kids in hand.  I don’t know what made me forget?  I remember talking to her as I locked the door on her.  That’s probably why I assumed she was with me. Had I not stopped to talk to my friend, I would’ve noticed immediately.

Kate is fine now, but if even my daughter hadn’t noticed Kate missing.  I’m afraid what could’ve happened.

I’m glad the situation had a fortunate ending.  It is hot out there.  We are tired as parents.  Please.  Please.  Please.  Be vigilant with your child’s safety.  There’s no judgment to be made here.  I’m so grateful she shared such a traumatic story for us to be able to become more aware and alert with our own children.  Thank you for sharing.

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