Some times, you get so beat down tired you don’t even realize it. You think that you’re bumping along and that things are good enough. Then, your Mom shows up at your door to pick up the kids in the morning but instead of the usual knock, you hear something funny. When you walk down the hall to open the door, it’s unlocked but the door guard on top is in place although slightly ajar. When you pull the door open, your mom pulls your keys from the lock and hands them to you grinning.
Yup. I left the keys in the door all night. Did I mention I live on a super busy street? Did I mention my house has been robbed before? Did I mention this is not the first time? Did I mention I’m pretty sure it won’t be the last? Are you wondering how this happens? Let me paint a picture.
It’s about 7:45 in the evening when I leave my mom’s house. All three children are bathed and fed. The two oldest are in nothing but underwear because my mom ran out of clothes for them and I forgot to bring something to change them into. This, by the way, is Sign One I’m too tired for anything. The passenger seat is piled with my purse, laptop, three lunchboxes, and leftovers for me and for grandma. As we get closer to the house, they call their father to say good night. I pull into the house. I get out, grab my purse, and head to the front door. There’s a delivery from diapers.com (want a referral? I can send you one and get you a coupon) so I get the door open and heave the box inside. I hang the purse on the hook and run back out to begin The Unloading.
Oldest child first because he can start getting things ready for bed. I carry him into the house because he has no shoes on. I tell him to brush his teeth and set up the toothbrush for his younger sister. Then, the baby because the oldest will now sort of be able to monitor him and he won’t freak out because I left him alone in the car. Next up my daughter who is finally wrapping up her conversation with her dad. I carry her in too because she is also shoeless. I order her to take the phone to her brother, brush her teeth, and get into bed. I get back to the car and unload the lunchboxes and the laptop. I come back outside because I’d forgotten the food. My grandmother has popped out of her house at this moment so I tell her to come inside so I can give her the leftovers my mom had included for them. The littlest ones come out to say hello to her and goodbye. They are also complaining there are no pajamas in their drawers. My grandmother can tell things are getting chaotic and so she takes her leave. And so while I’m yelling at my kids to check the laundry basket for the clean pajamas, half-waving bye to abuela, and watching to see where the baby was headed now, I close the door. With the keys in the lock.
I had children to corral into bed! I had stories to read! I had tuckings to do!
But most importantly, there was wine to be drunk and more novel to write and nothing was going to stop me.
And that, my friends, is how my keys spent their night outside– in the lock.