Have you ever noticed that if things are going to go wrong it is going to go wrong on a day when you have to get on a plane, get the grocery shopping done and pack? And with your mother watching your every ridiculous move?
Must just be me.
We’ll start at the beginning. Two weeks ago on a Saturday I bought a Suburban. It is beautiful and fantastic and I am thrilled to have it. A week after my purchase I go out to start it and it won’t start. I assume that my kids, forever being told to stop playing in my car, left something on that drained the battery. A dome light or something like that.
I notice throughout the next few days that it is a little slow to start some mornings so I call the dealership – an hour away – and they tell me to bring it in or take it to a closer dealership. I call the nearest dealership and they can not get me in until 7am the day I leave on my trip.
Also on that day, my parents were coming in to help with the kids as I traveled. An incredible gesture, I was determined to make the visit as drama free as I could. Fat chance of that happening. So that morning I get up at 5:30am with the intention of taking the truck, having a new battery put in and being back before anyone even knew I was gone.
Being up early, I logged into my computer to transfer photos to my travel computer. But my travel computer would not let me type. At all. No matter what. Thinking I was just not hitting the right keys, I called the 800 number for help and ended up spending an hour on the phone, resetting the entire operating system and missing my appointment.
I reasoned that all was well and that as long as the kids did not leave anything else on, my parents could use the Suburban and have no issues. Fat chance of that happening.
My parents arrived, my mom and I loaded Katie in the car to take her to school and headed to the grocery store. My Dad was home with the kids.
We get out of the store, car full of groceries and it is pouring rain. Drenching, pelting, blinding rain. Umbrella in hand, we rush to the car, I pop the back and load the groceries and my mom gets in the car. I get in, shake myself dry and reach for my charger to re-energize my cell phone which had drained thanks to the constant use of it by my kids.
Where is my charger? Oh well, let’s get home and we’ll find it then, I thought.
As mom and I chat I put the key in the ignition and nothing.
Nada. No click, no turnover, no nothing.
The only thing I hear is the pouring down sheets of rain hitting the windshield.
I look at my mom and she smiles.
I love her.
I pick up my phone to call my ex-husband to come jump the car and remember that it is dead. So I borrow my moms and call him.
He is not pleased. Neither was I so I could not blame him.
He heads to rescue us and my mom and I sit, dumbfounded that I am to get on a flight in less than three hours, have a new car full of groceries – including frozen items- and it won’t start. I am even more thrilled that it is raining so hard that we can barely see out of the windows and that my mom is witness to it all.
In the 17 hours… OK, 15 minutes that we wait, I get out of my car at least 10 times, in the rain, looking everywhere for my charger. As many of you know, without our phones it is impossible to run our lives. I don’t know but one number and he was on his way to rescue us. So I don’t have the number to the dealership, the kids school, the airlines to see about a later flight… nothing.
I go on and on to my mom about how my husband probably took it out because he thinks leaving them in drains the battery… does he have a point?… and she listens as I talk about how he can never find anything, does not remember anything he ever does and on and on. Sure I would find it on his workbench when I got home, she and I chatted about how I needed to tell him to be more careful.
When my ex pulls up, the rain decides to add to the challenge and unleashes buckets from the sky. I get out, open my umbrella, grab his and he jumps the car which starts immediately.
I get back in the car in time to see my mom reach to put on her seat belt and out falls the tip to the charger… which she was sitting on… the whole time.
Once we stopped laughing, we headed home and my ex heads to the auto parts store to get a new battery. With a phone charged, I call the dealership and explain the situation and they tell me to mail them the charges for the battery so they can reimburse me and are oh, so sorry that I got a bad one and if I would like, I can bring the car in and get a full check up to make sure there were no more issues.
I was happy with that.
We got home, unloaded the groceries, my dad had reinstalled the Trend Micro security software to my travel computer, I threw my things in my bag, kissed my kids and hopped in my ex’s truck – who is fresh off of installing the battery and now has the ‘burban running like a dream again – to go to the airport.
As I reflected on my crazy morning I said a thank you prayer to God for my mom – whose patience and grace kept me calm, my ex – who leap into action to save his nutty ex-wife and her mother, and my dad – who watched the kids, solved my computer issues and unloaded the groceries. And I thanked HIM once again for letting me feel the appreciation I always have for them even more deeply.
Without all of them, a dead battery, pouring down rain and two stranded moms might have just sat there totally lost in a sea of craziness!
Find more Motherhood Posts at My Recent Writings
**Originally published 5/17/2012**