My Public Apology to Andrew

This is my public apology to Andrew.

It has been two years and I’ve tried to forget, but I can’t wrestle the memory out of my mind. The last time I saw you things didn’t go exactly as planned. In fact that day was the perfect storm.

First a little context. Mark and I were at my brother-in-law’s house for a week while he was out of the country. Mark went to class during the day, while I stayed at the house with the kids.

That morning I lay underneath the covers in a world of comfort. Perfectly warm, face  smashed against my pillow. Dreaming wonderful things I’m sure.

My eyes ripped open.

I immediately jumped to my feet. The sun shot through the window and hit my eyes–half blinding me. With slit eyes and outstretched arms like a zombie, I walked toward my crying baby. Bleary-eyed I stood by her crib blankly. My eyes glazed over as my head nodded forward. Re-awakening I soothed her.

How did I sleep in until 8a.m.? Where are the boys? Thoughts began to spit out the printer of my mind faster than I could grab them.

Mark’s big baggy t-shirt that I borrowed hung nearly to my knees. A giant messy bun stood atop my head. Ok, let’s be honest my hair looked like a bird’s nest that had just been punched out of a tree.

Owen (three years old at the time) met me on the stairs.

Before I could say good morning he said, “Mommy, there is a man downstairs.”

I laughed because I thought he was joking. Owen smiled and looked at me as if he were in trouble.

“He was talking to me.”

What three year old makes up this kind of stuff? I stopped laughing.

“Owen, how did he get in?”

“I let him in.” His wide eyes told the truth. His crooked smile was guilty. I stared at my three year old–mouth agape, mind reeling.

WHAT?! You let a complete stranger into this house? Haven’t you heard of STRANGER DANGER?

I didn’t say much. I simply told Owen and Elias to wait upstairs, but something happened inside of me that I had rarely experienced before— Mama bear arose.

Eleanor sat on my hip, and I was ready for whatever awaited downstairs.

With each step my heart beat faster. Some unknown man had lit the fuze. He had talked to my little bear cub in my territory without my permission. The lava boiled below the surface of my skin—ready to erupt. I marched down the stairs—to battle.

Now remember that I normally have the personality of a goldfish. Big eyes that observe things from afar. People occasionally glance my way, and I just keep swimming in my glass bowl as if I’m not terrified by their presence. If I had a motto about conflict with strangers it would be: avoid it at all costs!

But this was no ordinary day. And desperate times call for desperate measures. My son’s words summoned me to battle. And like any normal mother I will protect my babies.

I looked around every corner. I searched every room. I opened every door until I found him.

The garage wasn’t the place I expected to find the mysterious intruder. But there he was. Brown hair. Tall. Thin. Young. Holding two wires above my brother-in-laws convertible.

My mind went into overdrive. You mean to tell me you are going to sneak into this house! TALK to my son! And then STEAL my brother-in-laws car?

I was going to have none of that.

My bulging eyes screamed. Veins that I didn’t know I had popped out of my neck. My face twisted as it reached a deep shade of purple. This man was going to get a peace of my mind.

From the looks of it he began to notice my presence. His arms dropped by his side.

“Umm… I DON’T know you.” I said rudely—teeth gritted.

That was the moment I realized that I’m the kind of person that goes into attack mode when feeling threatened. My eyes darted around the kitchen to see what would be a good weapon. Unfortunately there was only a wooden spoon.

I can’t just beat him over the head with a spoon! THINK Ash!

My thoughts were interrupted by his answer.
“Andrew. I’m Andrew… ”

He could see that I was terrified and ready to explode into a mama bear furry, so he quickly began to spout off names of people he knew.

I was having none of it.

“I’m going to have to ask you to get out.” My lips pinched together, and I stared him down.

He knew I wasn’t messing around and quickly set everything down and began to move toward the door. He walked through the house and went out the front door.

I immediately got on the phone and called Mark. A hundred words flooded out. My top question was, “Do you know a guy named Andrew?” While on the phone I peeked out the window to find the mysterious Andrew man still standing on the porch. Why doesn’t he leave?

Well come to find out. Said Andrew is my brother-in-law’s good friend. The good friend whom he had asked to drive his car. And get this my family had had dinner with Andrew before. This was no stranger-danger to Owen because he had had dinner with him. I had been sick the night of the dinner, so I did not know Andrew.

It was the perfect storm.

This wasn’t an intruder. This wasn’t a car thief. This was a friend who I had just kicked out of the house. And for that Andrew I am sorry. I am just thankful at this point that I did not hit you with the spoon.