Parenting Trumps Planning


Better late then never, a column from March!

I had it all planned. I’d taken a half day at my day job. I’d lined up with the parents at the school to pick up my daughter, and I’d hightailed it to Liberty just in time to enter the firehouse for the St. Baldrick’s event where I would not only be shaving my head to fight children’s cancer but taking pictures for the Democrat to help spread awareness for the cause. So I put my camera together. Flash on top, strap wrapped around my hand, lens cap off, and hit the shutter.

Nothing.

I clicked again.

Still nothing. Then I read the error message on the back of the camera. “No memory card.”

In case you ever wondered, it’s unfair just how easy to give a reporter/photographer chest pains. Allow her to arrive at a newspaper assignment, open her camera bag and find it empty of memory cards. You might want to call the ambulance first.

Because I looked everywhere. Where I store the batteries. Where I store the pens. Where I store the extra business cards.

Nothing.

And suddenly it all came to me. The card used to capture the 5-year-old’s “fashion shows, complete with ‘grand finale'” the week prior. The card used to record the freshly lost tooth and share it with the Facebook friends who were demanding a look-see at the new gap.

I’ve never left my house without at least three on hand, but then I’d never had a child before who was quite so demanding that her photo be taken, been quite so dramatic, been quite such a subject. I’ve become that mom. The “grab the camera, she’s moving!” mom. And it was biting soon-to-be-bald me in the behind.

And this is where I owe Sullivan County an apology. I moan incessantly about the lack of cell service, but in that one little corner of the world, it couldn’t have worked better. I called my husband. I texted my husband. 911! Emergency! Run home! Please!

And as I stood, trying to salvage the moment by at least interviewing the Liberty St. Baldrick’s organizer, Fay Cerullo, the pocket of my jeans began vibrating. There he was, my hero, my husband, promising he was on his way, and the memory cards would arrive.

Heart attack averted. Hysteria calmed.

And lesson learned. Parenting trumps plans, every time. So line up a hero on the other end of your cell phone, folks! It works . . . in some parts of the county.

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