This past weekend was my big parenting failure. We took the kids to a Philadelphia Union professional soccer game. It was the first time for all of us. Our boys both play soccer and we had heard great feedback about both the stadium and the fans. We don’t often go out just the four of us as a family so I was really looking forward to this night.
The hour or so before we left was a whirlwind. The kids were getting ready after a day of swimming while my husband and I were making dinner and packing for the game. It was raining so we thought we might end up driving an hour away only to turn around and come home.
When we got to PPL Park the rain had stopped. We were walking through the parking lot when my heart suddenly sank. I wanted to cry. I got my husband’s attention and mouthed the words to him. “I forgot the epi-pens.”
Of all the items I remembered – the tickets, water, sweatshirts, DS games for the car and extra snacks for my allergic son – I had forgotten to take my emergency kit out of the beach bag and put it back in my purse. Here I am, walking with my highly allergic son into a stadium where there are rowdy fans and lots of different foods around, without any emergency medicine
I felt horrible. I felt stupid. I felt like I had ruined the evening for everyone. I felt like the worst parent on the planet. You might have well just stamped it right on my forhead: “Parenting Failure”.
Only one other time in seven years ever did we forget our epinephrine, but my husband and I carry prescriptions in our wallets for that very reason and we were able to fill it at a nearby pharmacy. Yet here I was in a stadium with no pharmacy nearby.
My husband, who is not always the calmer one, took charge immediately and without our son ever knowing it. He mouthed back, “Don’t worry. It’s alright. When we get to our seats I will find out where the medical staff at the stadium is located.”
Still a nervous wreck, I wanted to believe him that it would be alright. As we were walking to our section I spotted an ambulance so I knew that the medical staff would be nearby. When we sat down my husband announced that he was going to get some water. He came back a few minutes later (with water) and whispered to me that the medical staff was just outside of our section and had plenty of epinephrine on hand if we had an emergency.
What an enormous relief. I was grateful that my husband stayed calm rather than getting nervous with me. (We don’t always work in sync that way.) I was grateful that the medics were so close to our seats. I was also glad that we have come to a point of knowing how to handle the situation calmly. We all had a fabulous time at the game and I cannot wait to take the boys again.
When we got home, I broke down and cried. I guess that good old parent guilt just never goes away, does it?