I took a deep breath and began to retrace my steps from when I was last standing next to my car, loading Parker into his stroller a couple of hours ago. I was juggling a red toy truck, a sippy cup, an overflowing diaper bag, and a little boy who was excitedly calling out to the trucks that were driving down the road next to the parking lot.
I checked everywhere. The depths of my purse. The diaper bag which is seriously in need of a reorganization and purge. Then my purse again. Where were my keys? I was already planning to whip out my phone to interrupt my husband, who was in class, and ask that he come to our rescue.
I lifted Parker from his stroller. There they were. My keys! They must have fallen from my grasp as I placed my baby boy into the stroller.
And in that moment, I stepped one step closer to understanding my own mother.
The times she couldn't find something she had just a minute ago. The times we had to go back to the house because she forgot to grab something. The times she didn't remember something.
With each time I am scrambling to get out the door, each time I am forgetting something we may or may not need, each time I wonder where I misplaced that thing I needed... It is with each of these moments I understand my own mother a little bit better.
Like me, I'm willing to bet she wasn't always that way. I bet there was a time, long before I rolled around, when she knew where everything was at any given moment. She probably also had a special place for her car keys so that they would not get misplaced.
But also like me, one day she became a mommy. To me. And suddenly there was a shift. A shift in priorities.
Had I not been so concerned about remembering to grab Parker's little red truck, not concerned with remembering to grab his sippy cup from the back seat, and not looking with absolute joy at a little boy excitedly waving to the trucks on the street, I probably would have remembered to clip my keys to the key ring.
But I'm a mommy. To that sweet little boy. And for all the times I will misplace the car keys, I will make an exchange for a moment of joy with my baby boy.
And just like me, someday he won't remember that I forgot. That I misplaced.
No, just like me, he will remember that we laughed. That we loved. That we shared.
Those will be his memories. Just like they are mine.