On Saturday, I woke up early to drive over an hour to where my little brother and his wife live, so I could support my sister-in-law (who has Type 1 diabetes) in the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s Walk to Cure Diabetes. After a week of staying up far too late, the lack of sleep hit me hard and I felt groggy that morning as I cruised along the highway in the early morning darkness. I had the baby and my preschooler with me (the older kids had soccer games and stayed back with my husband) and thankfully got my second wind once we arrived at the event. I throughly enjoyed the walk, the company of my family, including my parents, and the beautiful fall day.
After the event my brother and sister-in-law took us out to lunch. After sliding into a parking space next to my parents’ car in the restaurant parking lot, I opened the automatic sliding doors without really paying attention to the fact that my dad had just opened his car door. I heard a noise and saw him immediately pull his door shut. I quickly hopped out of the van panicking that my van door had put a ding in his (he was in his brand-new ride). Fortunately, no harm was done, so we all went on our merry ways, laughing and chatting as we strolled into the restaurant.
We were there eating and gabbing for about an hour. When it was time to leave, I began digging in my purse to find my van keys. I started cursing myself for not putting the keys on the key hook – something I’d promised I’d always do after locking them in my van after a harrowing trip to the grocery store – but once again my muddled mind and sleep-deprived state had rendered me cerebrally incapacitated. (I almost wrote decapitated. Sometimes I do feel like what I do with my body is completely dissociated from my head.) I didn’t remember where I’d put the keys. Did I even really remember driving to the restaurant? I’m not 100 percent certain. Everything was a bit fuzzy, but it was clear that the keys were not on the hook. Nor could I find them in the bottomless pit that I call a purse/diaper bag.
I walked out to the van with my little ones, my parents, my brother and sister-in-law, and my sister-in-law’s parents with a bruised ego and slight panic building within. Please don’t tell me I locked my keys in the van again, I prayed.
The good news is I didn’t. I discovered that the van, in fact, was unlocked. But I still couldn’t find the keys. They weren’t in my purse, and I didn’t see them anywhere in the van even after checking near both carseats where my little ones had been sitting. I figured I’d probably set the keys down near one of the carseats while I was unbuckling the kids. Everyone was helping me look in the van, and we were all puzzled wondering how the keys could have – poof! – disappeared (or as my 3-year-old says “pissappeared”).
So here’s the bad news: After several minutes of searching, it was my brother who pointed to a spot near the steering wheel and said, “Um, Katie, the keys are in the ignition.”
Oh, but that’s not all. It gets worse.
Not only were the keys in the ignition, but the van was still running.
We all laughed about how none of noticed the car was on and also gave the van props for running so smoothly and quietly.
I had not only left my keys in an unlocked vehicle, but I had also left it running while we were in a restaurant for an hour.
After I stopped laughing so hard I was crying (and celebrated the fact that I hadn’t peed in my pants from laughing that hard like my baby had done during the walk and no, of course I didn’t bring an extra change of clothes), I joked that I most definitely live in uncertain times. And it has nothing to do with the political climate in this great country of mine.
Now I hope my gaffe and ensuing humiliation makes all of you all feel better about the mindless things you’ve done as a mom.