So what started out as a great day, took a very bad turn before correcting itself and turning into a great day again. Arguably, this is not my finest moment – but I’m happy to share the blame with my two young sons.
So during our third deployment cycle in 2010, I got the great idea that we should get a dog. I’d been wanting one for the longest time and during this most recent deployment, I’m watching my 6-year-old slowly “not needing me” anymore. We find someone, and before we know it, the day of pick-up has arrived! We’re all super excited and that morning, we get a phone call that we can have “two for one” – beautiful young Pekingese boys (the previous owner brought one of the adopted boys back – he wasn’t getting along with an alpha).
Anyway – we begin our 4-hour drive excited and indifferent to the long trek ahead by prepping: getting the mid-van full of gas, water and – “Oh let’s get some treats for the road!” My daughter exclaims, “I’ll go!”
First mistake – an unexpected, unanticipated detour.
So my daughter jumps out of the car, then I get out to pump the gas, get inline, pay, get back in the car and declare (all excited mind you) – “Are we all set to go?” To which I hear exclamations from the back “Yeah!!!” – so off we go.
Second mistake – I should have looked.
We’re driving and my phone starts to ring; I’m about 2 miles from the autobahn (ring! ring!) and the phone is steady ringing. Me: “Ava, please answer the phone, you know I don’t answer the phone when I’m driving (silence)… Ava (more silence) …” A tiny hesitant voice in the back begins to stutter, “A-A-Ava’s not here.” “What do you mean Ava’s not here!?” I turn around to see two boys, sad shocked faces and all! “She’s still back at the gas station!? When were you going to say something?!”
Well, some stifled profanity later, establishing that we were in fact “not ready to go” – brothers that were all too excited to meet their new fur brothers and leave their sister at the gas station, were all the sudden in tears because “they forgot”.
Way before we get back – I’ve since answered the phone, she came off post – thank goodness, we were in Germany! – to wait at the bus stop for us to pick her up. She practically threw the treats at her brothers with a big “THANKS!” – Eventually the laughter came, but the guilt tripping lasted for at least two hours of the drive!
Needless to say, all was forgotten once those cute furry friends were in our lives, until the next time, when she almost forgot to remember her little brother in the bathroom in Italy! Fortunately for me, I developed a slight case of obsession when it came to counting my children everywhere and anytime we went out – 1-2-3… 1-2-3… every, single, time!