Forgetting t-shirt day

When you forget to check the planner on a Monday morning, something is bound to get overlooked.

This morning, 2-year-old on my hip, tiny backpack and lunchbox in hand, I strode across the preschool parking lot, through the gate, and around the corner, and we peeked through her classroom window. It’s easier to say good-bye when she knows there are other kids in there already having fun. In my sing-songiest voice I said, “Oooh, I see lots of friends to play w—” Oh NO. They’re all in their blue school t-shirts. Every one of them. 

Today was t-shirt day. I knew that. I wrote it down a couple of weeks ago. In my planner. Which is still open to the Saturday/Sunday page.

I felt awful. I know—she’s only 2. It’s not the end of the world if she’s the only kid in there wearing a green dress in a sea of blue, and to be honest I’m not sure it registered in her mind that she was dressed differently than everyone else. But it was pizza day, too. And I’d made her lunch. No pizza and no shirt like the rest of her class.

I’m the mom who forgets about these things sometimes.

But I’m also the mom who drives back home, digs the t-shirt out of the hamper, sprays it with Downy, pops it in the dryer for 3 minutes, and then drives it back to school.

Yes, yes I did.

The preschool director poked her head out of her office and walked out to greet me, asking if there was something she could help with. I held up the shirt. “It’s t-shirt day. I forgot.”

She smiled and tilted her head, taking in all of my frazzled-ness. And then she walked over and hugged me, a genuine, comforting hug, no hesitation. “We moms know how to feel the guilt, don’t we?” she said.

I nodded. A couple of other moms waiting by the front desk laughed. They knew it was true. The director took the shirt and said my daughter’s class was on the playground and that she’d run it out there for me.

She was right about the guilt. I felt terrible—all over something as ridiculous as a forgotten t-shirt that my 2-year-old would not have remembered come tomorrow. Or even come this afternoon, most likely. She changes her clothes 12 times a day.

It bothered me a whole lot more than it bothered her (which was not at all). Kind of silly, right?

My point today—and I’ll make it quick—isn’t about letting things go, or not being too hard on ourselves, or how we all make mistakes. I say those things a lot here (for good reason).

All I want to say today is: Be the one to open your arms and offer a hug to someone who feels like a mess. 

Just hug ’em.

It’ll turn their day around.

Turning planner to Monday now…


Click here to see all posts from the Grace, Freedom, & the Rules series.

{This series is part of the Write 31 Days challenge.} 

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