Parenting in the Nick of Time


Submitted a year ago
Created by
Lisa Nichols

Or, how I do all of my parenting.

On one of the recent in-service days, our local recreation office hosted a trip to Sky Zone trampoline park. For the first time, my fifth grader was old enough to attend, and it was a big deal. 

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“Don’t forget to sign the waiver, Mom,” she said. “You can do it online.”

“You betcha,” I said.  

She reminded me again the night before the trip. As I made dinner I thought to myself hey, self, don't forget to sign the waiver.

I didn't have a great plan for this particular in-service day. I ended up dropping her off for the trip and taking my other kid with me to work, so she was sitting in my office coloring when the phone rang. It was a friend whose daughter was also on the trip.

“She couldn't remember your number so they called me instead, but you forgot to sign the - " 

"WAIVER!" I yelped. 

"She can’t participate until you do.” She gave me the number.

I dialed frantic, imagining my daughter standing on the sidelines counting this among the many ways in which I clearly did not love her.

A voice on the other line answered, “Sky Zone trampoline park, can I help you?”

“Hello! ThisisLisamydaughteristhereandIhavetosignthethingandIamsosorryandImeanttodoit….” I rattled, falling into my habit of overexplaining things to strangers. 

The voice interrupted. “Mom. Mom. It’s me.” Not a stranger after all; my daughter had answered the phone.

“Oh. They put you in charge of the phone?” (Great, she can't jump so they've put her to work, I thought.)

“They figured the next person to call would be you.”

At least I'd come through on that point. 

"Is everyone jumping? Are you missing it? I'm filling the thing out right now," I clutched the phone between my chin and my shoulder while I stabbed my keyboard to get to their website and repeatedly apologized for being the worst. 

"Not yet. They're about to start. It's fine." 

I implored her to find an actual employee. They let her jump while I delivered a play-by-play of my waiver completion ("I'm typing my name! I'm clicking 'OK!'"). I hung up the phone feeling like I'd just saved someone's life (mine, I might argue). 

In short, I was almost the worst mother ever, but then I wasn't, and that's all that matters. 

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