When my Heart Went "Clunk-Clunk"

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The day didn't start well. It was one of those where everything was going wrong and I was having a hard time controlling my temper and my anxiety. Every five minutes or so I would think back to the last five minutes and shake my head in shame. I wasn't handling ANYTHING right.

We bought a van that day. It took way longer than expected and the extra time threw my babies for a loop. We were only set back by an hour in our schedule, but it broke us. All of us. I decided we needed to get out of here. No more sitting around our small apartment playing with the same stuff. No more playing in our apartment complex parking lot or the same parks we've been to over and over. I knew a solo impromptu road trip with a toddler and an infant could do me in, but I didn't care. Things couldn't have been worse.

After getting the van licensed and insured, I drove home, packed up and headed for Boise. Surprisingly, the drive went incredibly well. We had left late (after dinner) and the girls slept the whole way. I'm serious- THE WHOLE WAY. It was the longest stretch of quiet time I've had all to myself in a while. I thought, and I prayed and I cried. Ruthie woke up to be fed when I took the exit off of the freeway. Georgia woke up from her cries.  By the time I rolled into my parents driveway at exactly midnight, I was emotionally limping. I mean, I was fine. But not great. And my girls were tired and hungry.

I parked the car, turned it off, and tossed my keys in my purse. Then, I opened my door, got out, shut my door, and when I reached for the side door to get my hungry, crying newborn I heard


The doors, for some reason, had locked automatically. My keys were inside. So were my kids. 

My heart dropped. I unsuccessfully tried to rip the door from the frame. I pounded on the window. I scared Georgia. I ran into the house and told my mom what happened. We talked to Georgie through the car window and tried to keep her calm, Ruthie wailing the whole time. We called several locksmith numbers, but no one answered. I called the police, who said they would just break a window and gave me the number to a different locksmith. We left two messages there. We finally heard back that they were on their way.

Can I just tell you, that being able to see your babies crying and not being able to get to them is the worst experience ever? I kept choking back sobs- trying to stay calm because when Georgia saw even a little look of sadness or fear or worry on my face she started to cry. We sang songs and tapped on the windows- Georgia giving me little high-fives. All the while, Ruthie's newborn cry rang out as a soundtrack to the situation. That shaky-throat-baby cry that made me dig way down to deep to not break a window. She cried real tears for the first time in her little life. 

After 45 minutes, a happy locksmith pulled up next my new mini-van with a sympathetic smile. He opened the doors in 30 seconds. He did it for free! Told us to leave him a good review on Google. So yeah, here's to you, Advanced Lock & Key! I would have paid mucho bucks to get my kids out of there, but I am so grateful I didn't have to.

I feel like there are a lot of "at leasts" to this story. 
At least it wasn't in the middle of a hot summer day.
At least we were in my parents drive way instead of a random rest stop.
At least the locksmith did it for free. 
At least Ruthie was young enough to forgive me as soon as she started eating. 
At least Georgia hasn't had nightmares about being locked in the car. 

Perhaps this story doesn't sound as stressful to you as I am portraying it. But I can tell you that, on that day, in that moment, I felt like a complete and total failure. Looking back on it now, I feel like I have earned some sort of stripe. I'm assuming that there are moments like these that every mother has. Moments where she wonders how she was entrusted with such precious cargo and who was she kidding she can't do this omgshe'sgoingtoruineverything. 

But you get up the next morning with little ones who have already forgotten the whole thing. 
And then your two year old promptly falls down the stairs and gets a black eye. 


  1. Oh Carrie, my heart hurts so bad reading this story! How awful for you! I can't even imagine how stressful it would be to have my babies RIGHT THERE and not be able to help them. You get like, eight stripes at least for this.

    Also, you are an amazing mom. Your stress and sorrow at the situation PROVES what a good mom you are. The very fact that it was a bad situation in your heart and mind testifies to the love you have for your children, and THAT makes you a good mom already. Not to mention all the other wonderful things you do for your kids.

  2. Oh my holy cow! That sounds AWFUL! I almost did that once. My heart did that exact same thing... just dropped to the pit of the stomach. Right as I was about to panic I remembered I had a spare set of keys in the house. I was grateful I was still in my garage and not in some random parking lot. Thanks for sharing.

  3. I can sympathize. I have had my heart drop like that, but not in the same situation. Every. SIngle. Day. I fail again and again and again and I just tell my children that I'm sorry. That I'm not perfect. That some days I don't try hard enough because I am tired, or I am selfish, or I am human. But no matter what happens - I am their mother. I will always be imperfect, and I will always love them more than they can understand. And I guess as long as I know that, and believe that they know that, I can keep going. You have certainly earned a stripe on this one. Go gettum tiger.

  4. My heart goes out to you Carrie! You are not the only one to do this for sure! I did once, and after that I got a copy of my key and put it in a magnetic box that I hid under the frame of my car somewhere... I highly recommend this! Most keys have a chip in them but you can get a key for under $5 that will simply unlock your doors! I am glad everything turned out fine! Way to look for the silver lining! :)


I like to hear all of the beautiful things you have to say.