Week before last I failed my daughter and I can't let it go. For about 10 minutes she was alone and unsupervised in the world. She did just fine. She didn't seem upset, just confused I wasn't there as she made her way home by herself. Nice neighbors kept an eye on her so she was never really alone.
But I wasn't there. I failed. I fell asleep and didn't go get her from the bus. The boys were sick and I had been up most of the night. I was sick and had that achy joint feeling and was cold from the inside out. I sat down for two minutes and I fell asleep.
I keep thinking about it and wondering what in the world I can do to prevent something like that from happening again. My most important thing is to keep her safe and protected. I am eaten up with guilt and fear.
Part of what is hard is that I regret her having to grow up and be responsible for herself. When I was growing up I felt a great weight to be responsible for myself--far more than my parents themselves placed on me. The circumstances of my family's life made me feel like I needed to take care of everything I knew how to do in order to do my part for our family.
Here I am, with no external stresses, having given up my career to focus on my children and I STILL required my child to step up and take care of herself. When I went to work I paid people a lot of money to make sure my kids were watched at all times. I could (and did) chew people up one side and down the other when I didn't feel like they took care of my children the right way.
There is no one here to blame but myself. I can't threaten to take my business elsewhere. It is humbling to know that I am not worth the money. Of course, I am unpaid so I guess you get what you pay for.
I just can't seem to get over the fact that even after devoting my daily life to taking care of my kids, I have still managed to let a pretty big ball drop. I am humbled. And it is not a great feeling.