The night I left my son behind

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Tuesday 12th June 2012

I’m not David Cameron’s number one fan but I do feel a bit sorry for him and his wife Samantha right now.

The papers are full of the day the couple left their eight year old daughter Nancy behind at a Buckinghamshire pub. Speaking of which, take a look at the brilliant Matt Pritchett’s cartoon in today’s Daily Telegraph.

Actually loads of parents have made similar mistakes – me for one. In fact I did it just two years ago, after a party at my sister’s one snowy night in December.

My husband had driven to the bash straight from his office and, tired after a long week, left earlier than me, saying he’d give our two children a lift back with him. So at 11 pm, I said my farewells and drove the 45 minutes home through the ice and snow.

As I tiptoed into our sleeping house, a text lit up my phone. Puzzled, I glanced down and smiled. It was from my son, who was then 15. “You have forgotten me!” he’d typed. Very funny, I thought, and began making my way upstairs to bed. Then suddenly the awful truth dawned. What if he wasn’t joking?

Sure enough, when I woke my husband he muttered that he had brought our daughter home, but not our son. So yes, he was stranded at the party forty miles away. He’d apparently decided to go and watch YouTube videos with his cousin – but no one had thought to tell me. There was only one thing for it. I wearily swapped my high heels for a pair of comfy Converse, shoved my coat back on and grabbed a bottle of water in case I broke down in the middle of the snowy Oxfordshire countryside. Then I set off across the county to collect him.

The upshot was that our son got loads of mileage out of the night his parents went home without him. I couldn’t help laughing when I logged on to Facebook the next morning and saw his new status. “Can’t believe my mum left me behind. Top parenting job there…”

14 comments so far

  • Im with you on this Emma, a misunderstanding is so easy, your not the first and wont be the last, I’m sure they feel bad enough about this with it making world wide news. The outcome could have been much worse, and to be honest if she was away playing in the pub garden she may not even have realised she had been left. One mistake they wont make again.

  • In those circumstances, I think anyone would be forgiven for leaving their son behind!

    But kudos to you for traipsing back out to collect him. I think I would have suggested a sleepover 🙂

  • i would have suggested a sleepover in this case as well–since i am a catastrophic thinker i would have been more concerned about a tired mom driving in bad weather all alone–

  • So true, I think people are being a little unfair on the Camerons here, most parents have done something along these lines….it builds character! There are far worse things they could be having a go at him about I’m sure!

  • Thanks for commenting, Workinpants (love the name of your blog too!) At least it was a straightforward drive down the motorway and not too late at night.

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