Have you ever noticed that sometimes…just sometimes, our kids have a totally different perception of what “fun” means?
Let me explain.
The other day, I woke up in such a great mood. I mean g.r.e.a.t! I was feeling a little under the weather, but I was in good spirits. I even showered before anyone else got up (I hope I’m not the only mom who occasionally skips a shower, and if I am…so be it). Anyway, when I got out of the shower I looked at the clock and realized that I even had time to paint my nails. Man, could this day get any better already? I even painted them twice because I couldn’t decide on the color. It was THAT good of morning.
By this time, everyone else was up so I was getting yogurts opened, butts wiped and milk poured. Nails still wet…shoot. There goes that sweet nail job.
As I was walking from my bedroom back into the kitchen I heard this loud CRASH! I assumed it was Eydan, so I rushed in, only to find that the bag of nail polish (that I keep on the top shelf of a cupboard…dumb, dumb, DUMB) fell OUT of the cupboard and crashed. Out of all thirty-some bottles of polish we had, only 3 broke open and spilled all…over…the…kitchen…floor. Some managed to spill on the counter on their way down, even splashing the kitchen wall. I literally had polish all over. Oh yeah, not to mention the jar of nail sparkles that spewed all over as well. And the worst part of it all was that it was MY fault. So, I got all of the polish cleaned up (I think anyway) and I began making sure that the rest of the kids were ready for church. Ray had to leave a little bit early, so I asked if he would please take the two boys with him…please. You’ll soon find out that I was very relieved that I did not have them the rest of the day.
So, it was just me, Emaleigh and her friend that stayed the night left in the house. We finished getting ready and got loaded in the car.
Key in the ignition…sputter, sputter….vrooooooooom. Well that took a minute, but my car finally started. I have no other way to explain it, other than it was sputtering and I could tell I was on my last bit of gas. You see, I don’t consider myself a livin-on-the-edge type of person, but when it comes to my gas tank, I have a terrible habit of pushing that baby until I’m cruisin’ on fumes. And, I was a little confused because according to my gauge, I had 40 miles to still go! Eh, we should make it to town.
So, the first words out of my mouth to the girls were, “First stop is the gas station!”
I pull out of the yard and I could already tell something wasn’t right. We pull onto the highway, merge into the lane and drive for about 50 yards when my gas pedal was no longer working. Alrighty then. I pulled over, and my car stopped. But, when it stopped I could smell a burny smell. Please excuse my mechanic lingo. Clearly, I’m terrible with cars. Obviously.
I tried and tried and my car wasn’t starting anymore. At this point, I could feel a lump making a forever home in my throat. We weren’t going to make it to church. I break the news to the girls and at first they were bummed, but then when I told them we had to walk home….instantly they began hootin’ and hollerin’! Remember, they’re 9…so, this is awesome.
Yes, I called roadside assistance to get towed (because at this point, I didn’t’ realize all I needed was gas) but it was an estimated time of 2 1/2 hours before they could meet me. We were literally two football fields away from our house. And clearly, I’m terrible at measuring distance too.
So, we got out of the car, walked about 100 feet and I looked up to see a car pulling over. Suuuuuuuuuuper. One of the sweetest couples (that I recognized from town) offered to give us a ride. Now let me preface this with telling you that I would NEVER put my kids in harms way, and the only reason we got into a strangers car is because I recognized them. They asked our names and told me that they went to school with my uncle. See, it’s like we are family already. All the while, Emaleigh is whispering in my ear, “mommy, stranger danger!”
Shortest car ride of my life. If you remember, we weren’t far from our house at all. Kind of embarrassing really. Now we are home, and Ray and the boys are still at church. Thank goodness! I’ll condense this last part so I don’t completely bore you…
I pull out my Dad’s pickup so that we can go fill up a gas can. Get the gas can filled up, and drive to my abandoned car. Put gas in said abandoned car and vrooooooom, you guessed it. That baby started right up. So, we drive my dads pickup back to the house and set off on our journey back to get my car. It was lunchtime by now, so we brought some taquitos. I’m sure we were just a sight. Walking along the highway, two girls with grins as big as the sun, a mommy with sunglasses on only to hide the tears that I could feel forming. Emaleigh and her friend were having a blast…I was trying to.
We ran across the highway (yes, mom of the year right here), began walking and I could hear a car coming behind us. Colorado Highway State Patrol. Immediately Emaleigh said, “Mommy, we are NOT getting another ride!”
The officer pulls up next to us, and rolls down his window….says nothing. So, I begin to tell him my short version of the story (minus the nail polish and lump in my throat), tell him we will keep walking and he rolls up his window and drives off. NEVER said anything! Kind of weird…but, we continue on our voyage.
Anyone ever walked alongside the highway? There are tons of holes. Holes that I’m pretty sure house snakes. Want to talk about a sight? Now, there is two girls with grins as big as the sigh, and a mommy who looks like she’s doing some strange rain dance because I was trying not to step on a hole. Ugh. Almost there. I look up as we are about 30 feet from our car. I see a car stop right in front of mine and out jumps the most bubbly girl I have ever seen!
She runs over to us and asks if we are ok. Again, I share my short story and her response is, “Ok, I don’t like to see a mom walking along the highway with her two beautiful young girls.”
Nor do I. I assured her we were ok as we were almost to our destination! Her farewell words to us were (I kid you not) “Well, I’m a P.E teacher in training, and I know what to look for!” as she jogs back to her car. Well, ok.
We got in my car, and immediately drove back to the gas station to fill up. The girls giggled the whole way, and I kept repeatedly hearing, “This was the BEST DAY EVER!”
When we got home my loving husband took the kids into work with him, so I could go lay down and try to work on getting rid of my cold. After a day like that, sometimes quiet time is all I need.
So, what did I learn you might ask?
I learned that my gauge is a liar. Ha, just kidding. But seriously, I now need two hands to count how many times this has happened.
I was reminded to make the best of everything that comes our way. Don’t constantly focus on the bad, there’s probably some good that I might have been overlooking. I learned that in situations (when all you want to do is cry) sometimes it’s best to have your kids with you so you can be reminded that it’s ok to smile, laugh and walk with taquitos on the side of the highway.
Sometimes, you just need to have the mindset of a child, and one of your least favorite days can instantly turn into your best day ever!