What was that line about being careful what you wish for?
It was just earlier this month that I wrote about my hate/hate relationship with my minivan. (In case you missed it -- here you go!) I couldn't go online, take my kids to school or watch TV without noticing countless other cars I'd rather be driving than my silver 'Hotyssey.' It's a lovely ride but there's something about it that evokes feelings of mid-life crisis and leaves me longing for the pre-kid me (not to be mistaken for life pre-kids).
Flash forward ten days or so after I hit publish on that post and BAM -- my car is hit. Jeff and the two littlest ones had just left the house a few minutes before (I was actually set to meet them after picking up supplies I needed to volunteer in Lucy's class) and didn't even get more than a mile away when they were rear ended while stopped at a red light.
Once Jeff confirmed that they were all safe and uninjured, I immediately jumped in the car and arrived at the scene. The poor girl who caused the whole thing barely lifted her eyes up at me -- terrified by the protective mama bear arriving to take her cubs to safety. I quickly grabbed the kids from the mom mobile and buckled them safely in our other car -- the cool and stylish station wagon. I wouldn't normally be driving such a sexy beast but I had a professional meeting scheduled later that day and had expressed my interest (see: begged) with Jeff to swap cars. It's a sad state of suburban affairs when your station wagon is the cool car.
I get the kids to school and realize I'm empty handed -- I hadn't stopped to get the duct tape needed for the preschool project. Wait, that sounds bad. I make a plan to run back to get the supplies as soon as I drop Brady and Lucy off to class. As I'm grabbing lunchboxes from the car, my phone starts to ring. I don't recognize the number and am in no place to multi-task so I let it go. The phone stops... then starts ringing again.
In true Murphy's Law fashion, it's the school nurse from the elementary school. It seems that while his father and siblings were being hit from behind, Jacob chose that same moment to vomit on a classmate's book.
I run the kids into school and stop short in my tracks. Brady's classroom is empty. I completely forgot that his class was enjoying a field trip at the local chiropractor's office just across the parking lot -- interesting turn of events since my son had just been in a car accident, wouldn't you say? I hand Lucy off and grab Brady by the hand and we run over to the field trip, catching up with the line of preschoolers coming out as we arrive. (Sorry, buddy)
Okay, two kids dropped off and one pukey boy to pick up. I can do this, right?
WRONG, says the tiny volunteering mom angel sitting on my shoulder. "Don't forget the duct tape," she sings in my ear as I run back to the car.
Ugh, the duct tape. I stop for a second and carefully consider my options. I could run to the store, get the tape, bring it back to the other parent volunteers and then head over to get my sick baby. Or I can forget the tape and just get my child, risking the judging stares and snide comments of the other more responsible moms.
I chose the tape.
I drive to the closest store and grab what I need (why exactly am I getting duct tape anyway?). I pull back into the school parking lot and practically hurl the tape across the yard, yelling something inaudible using words like kid... vomit... got to go. Sweating at this point, I get back in the car and get to school to retrieve said ill boy.
Other than looking like he had doused himself in cottage cheese, my kid was in pretty good spirits. I think back to earlier that morning and try to remember if I saw any signs of nausea.
Jacob, what did you have for breakfast?
How much cereal?
Mystery solved there. Now it's back to find Jeff and do a quick a kid swap so I can get to my meeting.
Pause here lots of time passing...
It's been almost a week since our minivan was hit and the insurance company is finally outside taking a look at the damage. Afraid to drive it, we've packed the kids into the sleek and sporty wagon for trips to and fro school, as well as family adventures. Let's just say it's a close and very, very loud experience that I hope won't continue for too much longer.
Nothing like a little perspective to get you over a midlife crisis.