For such a substantial error, I can only blame my frazzled mind. Leaving the house in this condition had always been one of my biggest fears.
No, I didn’t forget to get dressed. Both my keys and wallet were tucked safely in my diaper bag. I was without something even more important: my cell phone.
It wouldn’t have been so bad if we hadn’t had such a great day planned. The sky was picturesque and the winds were calm. It was one of those days when you are grateful to be alive.
Oh, and did I mention it was a Saturday? Weekends are what we yearn for. They are our reward after a long week. Weekends are for family.
Almost immediately, I realized the severity of my mistake. Our friends were supposed to meet us here. We were at our local park and it was family day. Without my trusty communication device, how were they going to find us? Would I need to send smoke signals?
Unfortunately, I had an even bigger issue on my hands: photos. It was a beautiful day and we were at an amazing event. How was I going to capture that? Furthermore, how were grandma and that chick I went to high school with going to admire my pictures on Facebook? Sadly, there would be no posting frenzy on my end tonight.
Speaking of grandparents, how the hell did they live without constantly recording the memories? How did our parents do it?
Will I remember this gorgeous day? Will my kids?
I sighed and looked at the two moms in front of me. They were taking pics of their kids in the bouncy house. I couldn’t, so instead I looked up at the sky. It was breathtaking. The air was fresh. I was taking it all in. I was starting to feel a bit different. I was starting to feel freer. I was starting to feel calmer. The twitching and shaking associated with the absence of my lifeline completely ceased. My eyes went to my daughter enjoying the bouncy house. Her smile said it all. Maybe this day wouldn’t be so bad after all.
It was also a great day back in June of 1981. On my last day of school, my dad came to pick me up. We went to see “Superman 2.” Since it was opening day, the line of people wrapped around the block. The movie theater was packed. Later, we went to our local coffee shop for an early dinner. I got to order a hamburger, fries, and a Sprite. Afterwards, I got to pick out a toy at the store. There was no camera that day. Still, I remember. I felt like the luckiest kid in the world.
There was also no camera that summer when I was at my cousin’s house. Yet, we had a blast hanging in the basement during a terrible thunderstorm. We listened for the rumblings and screeched at the sight of lightning. Afterwards, we went out and splashed around in the puddles until we passed out from laughter.
Those events took place more than 30 years ago, but they are still forever captured in my heart.
I have many great memories. I also have some sad ones. Thus is life. However, on this day, nothing mattered but my own little family and that unbelievable sky.
They were offering free massages for adults at Family Day. Yes, massages at no cost. I had no excuse not to partake in the festivities. Who knows? I might have missed it completely if I was too busy staring at Instagram while I walked by the tent.
I had no excuses not to laugh at my daughter’s silly moves on the trampoline. I also could not miss the balloon my son almost let fly away.
I was able to capture the balloon myself. On this day, sans the cell phone, my hands were completely free.
Without my cell phone, I felt a little bit lighter.
There would be no pictures captured on this day, but that was okay.
A few years ago, during Hurricane Sandy, a bunch of my family’s videocassettes were destroyed due to a flood in the basement. I was devastated. Most of my sadness was due to the wonderful woman I always enjoying watching in those videos – my mom. She passed away from cancer 17 years ago.
No, I wouldn’t be able to see her or hear her again. But that doesn’t mean I don’t remember. Those days that she took me to the beach and slathered my freckled skin with sun block. The long talks. The endless laughs. Mom was always up for an adventure, and I must say, I treasure them all.
Today, at my daughter’s “stepping up” ceremony at school, I realized I forgot my iPad. Anxiety ensued. How was I going to take video of my daughter singing and dancing on her special day?
Instead, I took a deep breath. I held my son tightly in my lap. I watched the sea of cell phones in the air. I lived in the moment. I smiled. I cried.
I made a mental note to always remember this day and the joy that went along with it.
And I always will.