The most epic fail and the most amazing man

The other day I drove twenty minutes across town with both of my littles in the backseat – Judah strapped into his car seat, Levi… not.

Twenty. Minutes.

I pulled in the driveway, opened Levi’s door, reached in to help him out… and saw it: the unbuckled belt.

Trying not to burst into tears (and frighten him) I squeezed him tight and told him I was sorry and asked him for forgiveness and thanked God nothing happened and kicked myself for being too busy to notice and rejoiced that all was well… all at once.

Between Judah crying, running late for lunch and naps, getting both kids into the car in a busy parking lot, trying not to lose it while geting the stroller folded up and crammed into our tiny trunk, and stuffing the groceries into the front seat of our car… I forgot one of the two most crucial steps. Judah was buckled, but not my Levi.

Not my best moment.

(Makes me want to cry just thinking about it now.)

I later told Ryan what I did and the first thing he said was, “Are you ok?”

Seriously? Are you OK?

That’s how amazing my husband is.

Obviously he knew Levi was fine. And he knew that I would have been shaken up and ready to tear my clothes and rub ashes on my face and send myself into exile outside the city. So while some would be quick to scold or reprimand or “ugh” in disgust, he simply asked if I was ok.

That, my friends, is grace.

He gave me exactly what I didn’t deserve… but what I needed.

I think about God and hte grace he gives us (oh! the GRACE that we made it home safely with no accident… I’d have never forgiven myself). And I hold in my hand such a tangible example of grace extended to me, both in our protection and in my husband’s response to my carelessness.

God knows I’m sorry. God knows I’ve learned a lesson. God knows that rebuking me would do nothing to make things better.

Apparently my husband knows all that stuff too.

That day I saw God in the response of a man.

How grateful I am for him, and to get to wake up tomorrow morning and celebrate the most glorious day he was born.

Ryan: God’s grace to me.



Q for you: When’s the last time you unintentionally messed up big time? Was grace extended to you? (I hope so.)



p.s. I hope you don’t think I’m an incredibly irresponsible mother. I posted this thinking that most of us probably have a story like this to share. How I wish I could be sure it was my last. 😦


Click Clink Five | five minutes a day, unedited
Adriel also writes on motherhood & parenting at The Mommyhood Memos

About Adriel Booker

Author, speaker, advocate, and non-prof director. Happily married city-lover, mother, immigrant, and emoji enthusiast in a city by the sea. ✌️ View all posts by Adriel Booker

14 responses to “The most epic fail and the most amazing man

  • Greta

    What an amazing man! I’m guilty of this too. And I wish I could say I fully learned my lesson the first time. I *thought* I did. But it’s happened another time since then. Ugh.

    • Adriel Booker

      i did it another time too – but in a different kind of car seat – when levi was a baby. we were in america and i had never used the kind that you can take in and out of the car. (we call it a capsule here – i think it’s a “carrier” there?) it was cold and we had been in a cafe. i had him out for a diaper change then he fell asleep so i laid him in there and covered him with a blanket. left the cafe and clicked it into the car. completely forgot that the straps weren’t clicked! 😦 i was mortified. actually only drove a few blocks, but still. could’t believe it. i think this one shook me up even more because i drove so far!! never have forgotten the straps in a capsule since then. hoping i never do in a “normal” car seat now that i’ve done that one once too. 😦

  • Chad

    Fantastic example and story, Adriel! Thanks for sharing. Every decent parent out there knows that horrible feeling because we’ve all overlooked simple, yet essential things while raising our kiddos. Loved Ryan’s response and your ability to receive it as grace.


    • Adriel Booker

      it’s a miracle anyone survives childhood, really! 😉

      the grace must be far thicker than we ever understand…

  • Gwen

    One of your best posts yet Adriel! Your response initially and then again to extended grace – a lesson to us all. Thanking God with you for ALL of you!

  • Nessa

    This made me tear up – for your guilt and for your amazing husband. I did this too – I loosened and unbuckled part of Eva’s seat because she was sleeping in the car and I wanted to loosen her coat. We were parked – waiting on my husband to come out to get in the car for dinner. He was running 20 minutes late. Well, I forgot. We drove highway for about 10 minutes. I lost it too. My husband just told me everything was ok… I guess we are both super blessed in that husband department.

  • Branson

    Love this post! Love! And yes, we forgot to buckle the seat in once… and I felt the saaaaame way!

    • Adriel Booker

      ugh. it’s horrible.

      i keep reminding myself that there are MILLIONS of babies all over the world that will never see a car seat and they are just fine… feels so different in our culture though since driving unbelted/unbuckled is basically unheard of!!

  • Jessica W

    I did the same thing a few weeks ago with the baby! Carried his infant seat…no, ran with it down stairs and everything. I totally understand the feelings of guilt. But what an amazing man you have. And what an amazing Father God. Love how you relate this to his grace. Beautiful!

    • Adriel @ CC5

      thanks jessica. 🙂

      it’s clear this is a common mistake as many parents have “fessed” up to doing the same. (i’ve gotten a few emails with “worse” confessions too 😦 but all amazing parents who are capable of unintentional mistakes!) so glad god’s grace is far thicker than our failures.

  • Rachel

    A few weeks back, I accidently only half buckled Xave’s seatbelt. Or maybe I just didn’t check to see that the buckle had caught. Anyway, I felt so sick when I realised but for sure now, I make sure that buckle is well and truly buckled! There’s been a few of these type of ‘events’…like the time we attempted to let Xave CIO and he puked all over himself and the bed and I only discovered this later…I resolved that CIO wasn’t for us after that one! But I’ve also lost my cool more times than I’d like to admit, said some things under my breath that I’m not proud of…thank God, he abounds in mercy and that loving kindness we’ve been talking about! Sometimes, my little boy and my hubby too are more Jesus to me than anything else in my life.

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