We get asked quite frequently here at Team Sabo headquarters if we've ever left a kid somewhere. Apparently there's a perception that with so many children, there may be situations that arise where one child gets left somewhere. I scoff at that notion. Accidentally leaving a child somewhere, like at church for example, is surely a sign of bad parenting.* We would never do that. But to clarify, there may have been one occasion where due to a series of extenuating circumstances (we'll clarify this shortly) one little Sabo may have found himself in a situation where he was "temporarily without direct biological parental supervision." He was not abandoned.
Here's what happened. We were at church in Williamsburg, Va., and after the service was over we loaded up the van and drove out of the parking lot to a nearby convenience store just a couple of minutes away. Did I mention the convenience store was less than a mile away? Some of our older children were going home with friends so there was perhaps some confusion numbers wise on the proper amount of Sabo children that should be in the van. We got to the WaWa, a nearby convenience store, to pick up some snacks and refreshments (which is a sign of excellent parenting; taking care of the needs of the children), when I got a call on my cell phone. It was a friend from church named Lori.
"Hey Matt, are you missing something?" Lori asked.
"I bet you know the answer to that question," I said.
It turns out, a 2-year-old child who identified himself as "Eli" -- and who our good friend Lori seemed confident was an "Eli" we knew very well -- was back at church. An inspection of the contents of our van turned up no sign of an "Eli Sabo." We quickly deduced it may well be our Eli at the church and immediately headed back to resolve this unfortunate situation. (Another sign of excellent parenting; quickly figuring out if we were a kid short and making the command decision to return to the place where our "temporarily displaced" child was last seen.)
When we arrived at church, it was verified that the "Eli" in question was indeed the Eli Sabo who should have been in his car seat in our van. We were quickly reunited and have mostly lived happily ever after (unless you count the time we wanted to purposely abandon him alongside I-80 on the "Oregon Trail" when he was throwing a Category 5 Hurricane fit of apocalyptic proportions.)
*Technically, it's not an "abandonment" if you don't arrive at your final destination before figuring out that you're a kid short.