So yesterday was one of the most trying days I’ve had for a long time.
After sleeping late (damn you Daylight Saving Time!) and peeling the children out of bed, I set a land speed record for feeding, packing and shooing children out the door in time to make the bus. I then prepared my preschooler for his daily drive, only to find that the car battery was dead. Not the kind of dead where it chugs, but the kind of dead where the starter just does the click, click, click, click until you finally give up and realize that no amount of praying will make it start. I scream loudly at the absent children, wondering which one of them left something on in the car thus placing me in this predicament. Then I center, and try to make a plan. It is too late to walk, and I am supposed to have a Dr’s appointment.
Now those of you who know me are thinking “Sarah, you have at least two other cars you can use!” And you would be right. But the Mustang is buried under at least 15 minutes of decluttering. And that car hates me. It probably would have refused to start as well. So, on to the Bronco. I manage to track down the keys and hoist my little son into the truck that is probably like, well, 3 and a half feet from the ground. To my shock and horror, none of the keys will start the engine. Wouldn’t even turn in the ignition. So after much swearing I try again. I try the only key left, and it roars to life. Amen!
Off we drive to the preschool. No village sticker, no booster seat, no rear view mirror. With the day I have had it is a miracle that I didn’t get a ticket.
After returning home I am now DETERMINED to get the black car up and running. I grab a marine deep cycle from the basement (if you knew my husband, the fact that we keep extras of these in the basement would not surprise you) and lug it up the stairs and into the garage. I figure I have an hour before my Dr’s appointment, I can charge it up by then. However, that meant extracting the jumper cables from their hiding place in the garage. No amount of “come out come out where ever you are” was working. Think like the man, think like the man…
So I find the cables, and jump the engine. At least this way I can get it out of the garage. I let it run, and then drive around for a while. In a moment of clarity, I decided to go back home to turn off the engine and see if it would start again. After shutting off the engine for 1 second, it would not restart, even if I jumped it with the extra battery.
Now I hook it up to the Bronco, after calling to cancel my Dr’s appointment. Why not take the Bronco to the Dr’s appointment? Because the damn thing is lifted, so it fits in no parking garage. And if I park in an open lot, I will get a ticket for not having the village sticker, which I cannot find to save my life.
After several more tries I have to accept that the car is just dead. Now the responsibility will shift to my DH.
But this means driving the Bronco for the rest of the day. I used to love that truck. We drove it from Denver to Alaska and back that one crazy summer we spent fishing and camping. I can still remember our dog laying on my lap with his head out the window most of the trip. That truck was really my home. But now the camper shell has made way for a real seat and top, so that the children can actually come with us when we drive it. And somehow the heat has decided to run continuously, which takes the shine off of the thought of having the dog sitting on my lap again for any length of time. Add to that a crappy cackling radio and a lift kit and I really no longer enjoy driving it. True, there is something cool about using a gear shift that is reminiscent of an old school bus, having hand crank windows, and possessing enough clearance to go over a Mini Copper instead of around one. But the lack of cup holders and a hole-less floor is just too much for the poor girl to overcome in my eyes. But I did get a “Sweet Ride” from a 9 year old.
My husband returns and takes over the vehicle portion of our marriage. Dutifully, he acquires a new battery and my car is back up and running.
I was truly disappointed in myself. I am so used to sliding merrily down the pavement that I was crippled by the thought of not driving for the day. All of the children’s schools are well within walking distance. And the Dr was about a mile away…not bad. But I wouldn’t have time to stop and get a fountain diet. I wouldn’t be able to stop at the store, which I could easily walk to with my youngest after school. Am I really so set in my ways that I couldn’t roll with it for one day? Apparently.
So my horrible day did lead to a moment of clarity. I am constantly asking the children to just “roll”. Yet, I am almost incapable of doing the same.
Time to shake things up a little bit. Walk more, plan less. Maybe if I slow down, I’ll actually get more done.