Tuesday, March 9, 2010


At 8:00 p.m. on a typical Wednesday night, I found myself in a dilemma. I had been promising my boys a trip to Walmart(ugh). Walmart because one of them had a gift card there, and there were also some supplies we needed for our new adventure into the world of home schooling. I had broken my promise several times because things kept coming up unexpectedly. My most recent promise had been "Wednesday night. I'm sure that will work. Right after dinner." Of course, one thing led to another, and it was already 8:00. Family prayer was called, and after the Amen all my kids jumped up and said "We're ready!" I had thought it was a given that we WEREN'T going. We'd had prayer, by jove! It was 8:00! Brooklyn and Colton were already in pajamas! But those pleading eyes, hands pointing to feet that had shoes tied and ready to go, tugged at my heart strings and I gave in.

Seven children headed excitedly to the van, and I dragged my tired, weary mind and body to the drivers seat and we were off. I should mention, we were outfitted for Walmart. Cannon was wearing one of his most awful shirts, which had layers of dirt and dinner proudly displayed across the front. His face was a map of meals and snacks from the day. Brooklyn and Colton were in oversized t-shirts and mismatched pajama pants, no shoes. The others looked only slightly better. And me...well, I looked like someone who had spent my day chasing this wild group and had never quite caught up.

After spending a good thirty minutes on the same three toy aisles, I was mentally congratulating myself on my unselfish decision to bring them. My thoughts were interrupted by the ring of my cell phone. It was one of my best friends, a kindred spirit, seeking a little consolation and commiseration on the joys and trials of being the leader of a large and demanding brood. Toys selected, supplies collected, I summoned them all to follow me to the grocery side of the store, all the while talking and laughing with my friend. At some point during my trip across the store I thought I heard my name over the speaker. I strained to hear, but it didn't seem to be for me. Rounding the corner that dropped me off at dairy, I noticed that Cannon had NOT rounded the corner. "Cannon? Cannon?" Oh dear. While talking about the "not so great" moments of motherhood, I found myself smack dab in the middle of one of those "moments". I quickly said goodbye and organized my posse. "Conner and Cooper, retrace our steps. I'll look on this side. Little kids stay with me...." My words just hung there in the open air, because the two younger boys had already bolted, determined to hang with the big guys. I was stuck with two full carts, a toddler in each, thinking, "great, now I'm missing five children".

I must admit, I was momentarily paralyzed. I was planning my next move. Did Conner and Cooper even know the little boys were following them? What if they were separated? And where in the world was Cannon? How long had he not been with us? How was I going to get us all together again? I wasn't really panicked, or even very nervous. I was just on thought overload. My thoughts were once again interrupted as I heard the loud speaker calling:

"Attention, Attention, we have a LOST MOMMY. Will Angela White please report to customer service. We have a LOST MOMMY."

So, picture this. I haul myself, along with the two full carts with pajama clad, shoeless babies up to claim my status as LOST MOMMY of one filthy (but still amazingly cute) red head. Apparently they had been calling me for some time, and Cannon had come to the conclusion that I must not be there anymore. He confidently explained to the workers that he should call his dad, because he knew his cell phone number. (Don't worry, I've since taught him mine!). Just as I came up he was finishing these instructions to his dad:
"Um, Dad...Could you please call Mom and tell her she left me at Walmart?"
Cannon caught sight of me, said "never mind", hung up the phone, and ran to hug me. His little eyes betrayed the false bravado, and I hugged him to me tightly. Both women behind the counter were talking at me, telling me how many times they'd called me. Brooklyn and Colton were loudly and joyfully exclaiming that Cannon had been found. We were quite a scene. Then the thumping sound of eight feed pounding, running quickly, filled my ears. Four more voices added themselves to the cacophony, each trying to relate their version of their search for Cannon. We were quite the sight. Pretty much the perfect stereotype of a large family at Walmart.

I felt everyone's eyes upon us, heard the whispering back and forth, as we proceeded to check out...kids grabbing their toy selections, finding things that were unknowingly placed in my cart, discussing why we were definitely not buying checkout aisle candy at 9:30 p.m., please stay over here, NO you may not "run to the bathroom real quick" (like I'm letting us get separated again), stop pushing, please don't touch the cash register, stop spinning the bag holder....

However, our moment of infamy was short lived. As we were leaving firefighters came in and were helping a man lying down between two checkouts. I felt badly for him and sincerely hope he was okay, but was glad for the opportunity to quietly slip out the door and try to regain my dignity.

I didn't like being a LOST MOMMY. I like them knowing right where I am, stepping on my heels, begging for things with high fructose corn syrup, and adding interesting things to my cart while I'm not looking!


mrs. dph said...

Well written and hilarious, Angela! I loved it. And it made me feel better about my too frequent mothering gaffes.

KJ said...

You are not a lost mommy but one that I love and admire. I loved this story and wish so much I could have seen Mr. Cannon so in charge at customer service. What a big boy

Carr Family said...

You're a great mom Angela, I've always admired you for that!

Amber said...

I guess this whole homeschooling thing benefited your blog, seeing that we haven't had an update for a while. I of course knew the story would be about cannon. That boy is so daring and adventurous. Oh how i miss that boy and his heartbreaking smile. Also, his ability to drive you nuts and love him at the same time. I'll come visit soon.

Marissa said...

Well written - maybe you should write a book. :) I'd buy a book of your essays on life!

And I am extremely intrigued - home school? I have played with that thought for YEARS! (by the way if intrigued is spelled wrong...just laugh) If you ever have a minute I would love to know how that came to be and what, if any, programs you are using.

Love to you and your family, Me

Rachael Who? said...

I love reading your blog. It always gets to me... in a good way.

Team Bowers said...

Yay! I found your blog! SO excited to read up on all the happenings!!!!!

johny said...

i admire ur efforts ...ur not a lost mommy lol

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