Normally, we are fairly attentive to where our children are, and which kids are with which parent. Having five children in eight years makes it absolutely necessary. I was proud of the fact that I'd never lost one of my precious daughters for very long, nor had I ever left one behind anywhere. That is, until July 30, when we were heading to the Anchorage airport.
The day was chaotic and confusing. Stuff had multiplied over the summer, so we couldn't fit it back into the 14 pieces of luggage we could stick under the plane. Dirt had multiplied and found hidden crevices only to reappear just when I thought the apartment was clean. It was pouring rain outside, and we were running behind schedule. Finally, everything was out of the apartment, loaded into two different Suburbans, and ready to be taken to the airport.
I hopped into one Suburban with two kids. My husband hopped into the other Suburban with two kids. One kid was in neither Suburban. We left her behind! Not only that, but we didn't realize she'd been left behind until she called! By then, we were more than halfway to the airport. As quickly as legally possible, we returned to the university to pick up our abandoned child. She was fine, though you could still see red splotches around her eyes from crying. Quickly I gathered her in my arms, wishing I could take away the fear and misery of the last 30 minutes, and then I cried.
By God's grace, everything worked out just fine, and now my daughter will have a story to tell. Hopefully this is the only story any of my children every have about being left behind!