Wednesday, July 29, 2009

aidan, the oldest

It is so easy for us to treat Aidan like he is older than his eight (and a half) years. I think this is just part of the deal when you are the oldest. You are given responsibilities sooner, you are asked to act the most mature (not that you always do) and be independent sooner than your siblings. Not all of this is bad of course, I think a lot of it grows some really great leadership qualities in those oldest children but sometimes (like Aidan found out yesterday) the ride can be bumpy.

We were at Target picking up a few odds and inns, all seven of us together. So after we are done checking out the skateboards (which was Luke and Aidan’s request because they want to save their money to buy one) we head over to bedding to pick up some plastic sheets to stock up for when we move Ava to a big-girl bed. Mike and I decide to split up; he will get something in the baby department and I will get the sheets. As we split deciding who will go with whom, we realize that Aidan is not with us.

Since the sheets were back in the direction from which we had come, we figure that I would find him on my way. So I casually call his name as I retrace my steps. I don’t find him. When I meet back up with Mike and realize that he does not have Aidan either, we conclude that Aidan is lost. We call his name a few more times and then we start coming up with a plan (who will take which row) to find our boy.

It is about this time that I hear over the loud speaker, “Will Amy H. please come to the front counter to meet your party.” I walk as fast as I can to that counter to get Aidan. My sweet baby boy is there crying and waiting for me. He is not sobbing, he knows it will be OK, but he is crying because that was really scary for him. I cried too.

Once I get Aidan, we hug hard and he doesn’t want to let go. He also held my hand the whole rest of the time we were in the store. As we walked away from the counter, I got his side of the story.

Aidan was looking at some toys and didn’t follow us right way when we left the toy section (he does have a habit of dilly-dallying and we often are waiting for him to catch up). So we moved on and he was left there. Once he realized that we had left, he tried to find us but couldn’t. So (in tears) he looked for "someone with a nametag." He quickly found a Target employee and told them that he was lost. They asked for our names and took him to the front counter.

I was so pleased that he knew what to do and how to handle the situation. When I told him so a few hours later he responded with a few more tears that he was so glad that I had taught him what to do.

It is because he is the oldest that he was left. We do not move a step without making sure younger Ava and Ethan are with us but it is the other way around with Aidan, he is to keep track of us. However, it is also because he is the oldest that it worked out. He is the one in our family who would remember the day years ago that I taught the kids what to do if they are ever separated from us in a store.

I am thankful for the lesson for all of us, thankful that it all worked out fine and thankful too that I am reminded to re-teach that lesson again to the other kids. Because after all as every yahoo in this town wants to remind me, I do have my hands full.


Cutzi said...

First of all, I could barely get back to the more serious part of this post after reading your last sentence... cause you know, I get it too. The third one pushed me over the edge, I think.

But how scary! Of course, I am glad everything worked out and am not surprised that it is - with Aidan being so confident and practically-minded. But so, so scary for everyone. Sweet Aidan. Glad to know that even though they sometimes seems like they're growing too fast, they will still be our little boys for quite some time.

Jodi said...

I'm with Cutz, I laughed out loud at "as every yahoo in this town wants to remind me, I do have my hands full." I respond in the same way every time: "Yep! We've got kids comin' out our ears!"

This story totally got me choked up. What a sweet sweet boy. It's good to be together. :)

Stacy said...

I nearly said the same thing Cutzi did. That last sentence had me going, "Ugh. Yeah about all those yahoos!" But then I was like:

Wait. CRAZY! I am so so so sorry that happened to you, but so thankful for your responsible boy who knew JUST what to do (oh my goodness the kids and I are SO having this conversation in the morning because of it!)

You know I've been in a similar moment in the not-distant-enough past (but with a younger child) so I completely feel your pain.

I'm so proud of Aidan, though. Way to go, buddy! You are so smart and responsible and the next time we see you, I want you to tell my kids what you did so that they can learn from you!

Anonymous said...

Oh dear! This brings me right back to that time in the elevator in the huge office building in Vancouver when you drove me up for an eye appt. The elevators doors closed suddenly and separated you. Do you remember?

Also, there are some of these pictures where Aidan's cowlick is not as forceful as it is in others. Is that product of some kind or just being smooshed down from a hat?

-Aunt Helen

amy said...

Cutzi, that's how I saw it too. Glad he's still my baby.

Jodi, what a great idea to stay light hearted in you response. I usually go for the "we are so blessed/thankful." But your response prob does a better job keeping the conversation going!

Stacy, Oh yeah about your moment, it took me a sec to remember. Yuck. The worst feeling!

Helen, that elevator! That was way worse! Here he was older & had been to this store before. And I was never really worried someone would steal him.
And what your seeing with his hair is from wearing a hat right before the pic is taken. Very observant.

Al said...

a couple of years ago the girls and Grace were shopping and Grace got lost... The girls were called to the customer service desk. I was glad that the girls had told her what to do... (G doesn't even take me shopping anymore...)

Rebecca M said...

Okay, I'm still tearing up here thinking about this.

I mean, we just went through all this Personal Safety stuff at our house and I think our oldest would know what to do.

The rest of them would just cry really loud until I heard them.

But I can see Daniel and I having the same moment at the end of it all, knowing that if he were "lost" in the store, it would be for the same reason: that we expect him to keep track of us now. And that what we expect of him as our oldest and what situations he may find himself in may not always match up.

Our sweet little men!