I forgot to pick my son up from school today. There, I admit it, I'm publicly stating I was a little absent-minded. And, I'll admit its one of the most harmless, yet still horrifying things that can happen. He only had to wait 15 minutes for me, but its one of the worst feelings in the world; that second when you realize that you have no idea what time it is, followed by the sudden realization you are supposed to be someplace you are not. I usually have my stuff together and these types of moments are very rare for me, but they happen. I'm only comforted by the fact that one of my dear friends had the exact same scenario happen to her last year, so I'm not the only one.
Although my son was completely safe and absolutely unaffected by me showing up 15 minutes after school was finished, I was still horrified. What is so unsettling to me is that there was a period of time that I wasn't thinking about where my kids were. There was a span of minutes that seemed to just disappear. I was sitting in front of my laptop and was watching the time on the clock display in the lower right corner, but at some point it just stopped registering. What's funny is that I got immersed in a document I was working on regarding my kids, so they were on my mind, but I still lost track of them.
On my way to go fetch my son who was patiently waiting for me in the school office, I was thinking how strange it was to have lost track of him in my mind for any period of time. I'm not sure how many minutes I have spent since my kids were conceived where I haven't had them running through my mind. I'm always running a check when they are not right there holding my hand: where are they, are they safe, do I need to be doing something for them? Its like a loop that is always on in my brain while I'm awake, and probably while I'm asleep too. There was obviously a glitch in my system today, but it made me realize just how much of my time my kids consume, literally every second. That's a lot. So, although I do not profess making a habit of being absent-minded, I'm going to stop beating myself up for today's harmless episode.