Wednesday, September 03, 2008

How I Almost Ruined the First Day of Kindergarten

The morning started off great! I woke up early, made a healthy breakfast, packed Noah's morning snack and got his tote bag all ready to go. His uniform was laid out and my camera had new batteries for this special day. Noah woke up eager and excited to start to school. Everything was going smoothly until about 7:45am. I left Toby in his highchair and took Noah outside so we could take the obligatory first day of school pictures. He was acting cheesey so I only got a few shots and then it was time to load into the car so we could get to school by 8am.

I told Noah to go ahead and wait by the car. "I just have to grab Toby and my keys and we'll be off!" I said as my hand turned the doorknob. Or tried to turn the doorknob. It was locked! I could hear Toby crying from inside the house. I jiggled the handle a few more times but it was definitely locked. The crying turned to screaming.

Noah and I raced around to the back of the house to see if the backdoor might be open. No such luck. Geary is extra good at securing our house. There was no chance of getting in through a window, either. I picked up a plastic sand shovel and marched back to the front door with the idea of trying to force the lock. It didn't work.

Noah started getting a panicked look in his eyes, "I'm going to be late," he moaned. I swallowed hard and looked up and down our street. We had recently met one of the neighbors across the street so I ran over there and rang their doorbell. No answer. I ran back home. My next door neighbor came out into his yard with his lawn mower. I knew he didn't really speak English but I walked over and made a telephone motion with my hands and told him my door was locked. He understood!

My neighbor pulled a cell phone out of his pocket and said, "Please call, s'okay." I wracked my brain trying to remember Geary's cell phone number. The number I dialed was wrong. The only phone number I could recall was Geary's sister, Anita, up in Washington. So I called her. "Hey, Anita, it's Jeana." My voice broke and tears started falling, "I'm kind of having an emergency." I told her the situation and she was able to provide Geary's phone number and the school's phone number.

Geary's phone number went straight to voicemail so I called the school. When the secretary answered I said, "Hi, this is Jeana Linhart. I'm having a slight emergency--can you get a message to Geary for me?" Rhonda the secretary said, "He's right here, just a minute." I told Geary what had happened and he promised me he'd be right there. Noah and I sat on the front porch listening to Toby wail and reassuring ourselves that everything was going to be okay.

Geary arrived in someone else's SUV. "Cindy told me to take her car," he said as he unlocked the front door, gave me a quick hug and then raced back to school. I was thankful. Geary taking his scooter would have cost more precious minutes as he suited up and walked his scooter across campus.

Toby was fine. His eyes were red and his face was covered in snot but he greeted Noah and me with a big smile. I quickly buckled the kids into their carseats and then started apologizing to Noah. "You're going to be late for school but it will be okay. You won't be in trouble, everyone will understand that it was an accident. I'm so sorry, Noah." He was gracious in his reply, "I'm just glad Toby was okay and I still get to go to school today."

By this time it was 8:20am. We pulled into the school parking lot and what was this? Everyone else was pulling in, too. School started at 8:30! Thank you, Jesus! Noah was on time after all! He hung up his tote bag and found his desk and gave me a secret thumbs up as I waved goodbye to him from the classroom door. We made it!

I just want to give a big THANK YOU to all the heroes of our day:

My neighbor--thank you for letting me use your phone.

Anita--thank you for praying for me and being able to provide the numbers I needed.

Rhonda--thank you for finding Geary so quickly

Cindy--thank you for letting Geary use your car so that he could get to us quickly

and of course, Geary--thank you for rushing to our rescue. You're the best husband ever!


  1. Jeana,
    I have to tell that I locked myself out of the house the other day. I was talking to my sister on my cell phone and to get better reception I walked out on my back deck with my dog. After I got off the phone I realized I had locked myself out of my house. Thankfully I had my cell phone in my hand to I could call Jarrod to come let me in. I had no shoes on, my car was locked in the garage and I was supposed to take our dog to the vet. I barely made it on time for the appointment. So, I understand a little of what happened to and how frustrating that is. Hopefully tomorrow goes better!

  2. Wow, now that's an unforgettably dramatic first day of kindergarten! It'll help him out some day when he is playing two truths and a lie. =) He sure looks all grown up and handsome! Glad everything turned out okay!

  3. Thanks, Bekah. I just hate that feeling of being stuck! I'm glad you were able to make it to the vet appointment and that your husband was there to help.

    Thanks, too, Becca. One of our biggest priorities in parenting is preparing our children for youth group games. Just kidding! Sort of. ;)

  4. Jeana, your story made me cry. I totally know that panicky feeling--both scared for your baby and sad because you feel you're letting your child down. I'm so glad everything turned out well, that Noah was so tenderly understanding about it. It is so special when our kids show us grace.

  5. Oh, Jeana...I had a similar thing happen to me when Isaac was a toddler. He had been napping and I went outside to fill up the kids swimming pool. Well, he woke up and had gone out to the garage, and meanwhile I closed the garage door and went out to the back yard. He couldn't reach the door handle to get in the kitchen and that garage must have been over 100 degrees. When I finally came in and heard him crying he was totally red faced and drenched in sweat and told me, "You bad Mama!" It was horrible! Thank God he was okay. I'm glad everything turned out thumps up for you guys!


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