That moment shot through me like an arrow. I went from total exuberance to immense fear. To be honest, I haven't had that feeling of emptiness, that void left deep within my soul, in several years. I make no excuses but thankfully it was not nearly as bad as it could have been. As it turns out, the question of "Where's Ainsley?" was easily answered. She was still in her gymnastics class back at GSX. Her class runs an extra 15 minutes longer than Graham and Sydney's Tae Kwon Do class. Still, though, I was in shock.
How could I forget one of my children?
A plethora of horrible dad feelings rushed through me as I raced back to GSX. Due to the wreck we passed, I had to find another route. Worse yet, her class was ending in 5 minutes and I was about 8 minutes away. I quickly called GSX to let them know that I would be a few minutes late. I put my foot on the gas. I bolted back. I violated plenty of laws too. Of course, I am not going to tell you what they were because I also realize that my personal private diary can be used against me in a court of law. None the less, I made it back safely in record time. I arrived a few minutes after Ainsley's class had completed.
As I walked in, I watched another of the very last families walk out. I then went to grab the door to the gym. Sure enough, Ainsley was pushing through from the other side. She had not cried but I could tell that she was beginning to get worried. As she saw me her eyes began to well up. She jumped into my arms and gave me the absolute best hug I have ever received. To be honest, it was one of the best moments of my life.
Sounds strange doesn't it?
I don't know what to tell you. I felt absolutely complete at that moment.
I have absolutely no clue about what I am supposed to learn from this experience. But, I am quite sure that it won't be happening again. On the other hand, it was one of those moments where I got to, once again, be reminded of how valuable and precious my little twerplets were and how lucky of a father I am. I can't say I recommend leaving your child behind at gymnastics but I hope that this story makes you want to hug your little twerp that much harder this morning. I also hope you get some sense of the tremendous joy I felt when I received my hug from Ainsley.
It is good to be reminded every once in a while.
On our way home that evening Sydney asked, "Are we going to tell mom we forgot Ainsley?" I said "Of course, we are. We have go to tell Mommy so she can make us feel better." I tried to use this as a teaching experience to teach Sydney the importance of being honest and facing your fears in these situations. At this point, it seemed the least I should do.
When we walked into the house the three of us marched straight out onto the porch where we found Lynley. I faced our fears and said:
"Lynley, Sydney forgot Ainsley at GSX."
That, at least, broke the ice.
I am just happy to say that this morning I have all of my purpii back. I even counted this time.