Today’s list of the forgotten: glasses, school clothes, football mouthguard, and epi-pens. I’d like to say it’s unusual for my son to forget that many things in one day. I’d like to say that’s where today’s list will end, but I also like to say, “day ain’t over yet”. If he forgets only one thing in one day, I swear we celebrate. It’s like a slot machine, pull the bandit’s one arm and see if it’s a match for the first three things he forgot today.
Coleman is honestly the most forgetful person I’ve ever known. I will use the “lost” and “forgotten” description of what’s missing interchangeably because he rarely loses anything. He just forgets where he put it. I’ve learned pretty quickly that the first place he should look for the tv remote or his phone is the bathroom. Almost always a direct hit. Anything else can take from an hour to a week to find (or remember where he put it). The other day I found his library book in his underwear drawer. The disturbance of that discovery leveled up when his eyeballs popped and he exclaimed, “Oh yeah! I remember putting it in there now.” I stopped asking why a long time ago. Trust me, that’s a rabbit hole you do not want to descend into.
I have tried every parenting hack that the world wide web and wise old moms have suggested. I’ve resolved to just let him suffer the consequences of forgetting things. There are only a couple of things that I will go back for, and today he forgot them both: his school clothes and his epi-pens. The first is about quality of life and the second is about life itself. He has football practice before school so he showers and dresses there. If he forgets his clothes, everyone suffers a stench that the worst roadkill on a hot Texas day couldn’t compete with. I’m just not that inhumane. Epi-pens are considered “rescue medication”. His peanut allergy is life threatening. If he has an allergic reaction, he will need rescued. He cannot be without the epi-pens.
How am I thankful for the forgotten? Well, it gave me pause today. I realized that I’m prioritizing what’s worth turning around for. If his phone dies because he forgot his charger, or he gets a zero because he forgot his homework – it’s not the end of the world. Fresh smelling clothes are a dealbreaker for the folks I have to share this planet with. Epi-pens are the very top priority. He can’t even be dropped off while I run back to get them – they must be with him. Always.
Coleman’s spinning wheel of forgotten items made me wonder what it is that I’m forgetting. What have I arrogantly prioritized that isn’t important enough for me to return for? Did a friend tell me about a struggle and I never returned to check on them? Did I leave a job undone that I decided wasn’t important? Maybe it is very important to someone else. Did I rush back to get the next chapter in some sordid gossip and walk by the person I had promised to help with a task?
I’m not kidding when I say, with tears in my eyes, that it absolutely rips me up to think anyone would feel forgotten by me. You deserve to be a priority. You don’t deserve being shrugged off as though forgetting you is worth the consequence. You never, ever, deserve to be forgotten. You have value, so much value, and your value doesn’t lie in whether or not you are a priority to me or anyone else. Your value lies in the unconditional and overwhelming love that our Father has for you. He will never forget you. He has not forgotten you. It may feel that way. I don’t know why that happens. Maybe we don’t realize how important it is to feel valued until we feel forgotten.
I am so thankful that God never leaves or forsakes us. I’m so thankful He hasn’t forgotten us. I pray that you grasp your value and trust in His love.
“It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” Deuteronomy 31:8