Wednesday, October 9, 2013

A Year of Gratitude: Day 337 (a day late)

You ever have one of those days that just doesn't go right?  Today was one of those days for me.  I have been having some eye trouble and needed to get in to see my optometrist, who happened to be out of town for conference or something, and today she was supposed to fly in and offered to see me for an "emergency" appointment ... at 3:25.  School lets out for Baylor at about 3:15, and then it usually takes me another five to ten minutes to get him and get out of there.  So my grand plan, if you can call it that, was to be the first car in the pick up line so we could get out of there ASAP.  Baylor's teacher, bless her heart, even said she'd let him out a little early for me so we could make it.

I got there 45 minutes (!!!!) before school was supposed to get out and managed to be the first car there by one minute; seriously, there was another parent waiting there right behind me for over 40 minutes.  It was a really gorgeous day, and Mollie and I like to have the windows open anyway while we're waiting for the little man, so I rolled down the front windows and turned off the car for a little reading time.  Slowly but surely, though, the car started to get really hot and for some reason the breeze was missing our van, so I turned the car on (but not the engine) to move some of the air around with the A/C.

About 10 minutes before dismissal time, Baylor and a parapro from his room walked out, and he hopped in the car.  (I should mention at this point that my eye appointment that we were doing all this crazy picking up for had been cancelled; my eye doctor was stuck halfway home and wouldn't be able to make it.  Regardless, I was glad to have a little extra time with Baylor before his PLAY therapy appointment at 4:00.)  As I reached to start up the car, a dad began walking up the sidewalk by the pick up line.  He heard what happened next and was clearly aware of how bad it sounded.  Yeah, that's right.  My car wouldn't start.  The air was on, the lights were working, the windows worked, but the car wouldn't start.  Panicked, I called my friend Shaun, who just happens to be an auto mechanic, and asked him his professional opinion as to what I should do.  He did some over-the-phone trouble shooting as best he could, but the car still wouldn't start.

To make a long story short, my car ended up sitting at the front of the pick up line for the main portion of the after school pick up extravaganza while I waited for a tow truck; teachers and other school staff directed the rest of the enormous line of cars around mine.  (Yes, I was mortified.  As I aptly described it in my voice mail to my sister, this was my personal hell.)  The principal of the school, a former teacher of mine, pushed my car into an open spot once things cleared up a bit and offered to drive us wherever we needed to go.  Thankfully my sister was nearby and was able to help out, but not before my car was hoisted onto a flatbed tow truck.

It was apparently quite a traumatic event for Mollie.  She immediately burst into tears at the sight, thinking we would never be able to go home again.  Baylor was initially very excited by the scene - he has a flatbed tow truck Lego set much like the setup used here - but soon became quite concerned at how upset his sister was.

It turns out my battery was toast and it would be an easy fix for Shaun.  We made it to Baylor's PLAY therapy appointment without a problem, and my mom lent me her car for the time being until I could get mine back.

Initially I was pretty upset/embarrassed/pissed off/etc. at the whole event, but after a while I was able to see all the things and people I had to be grateful for.  So here they are, in no particular order:

I am grateful that my parents and sister live so close to us and are so willing to help us out.  I can't imagine living far away from them, and I thank my lucky stars every day that they care so much for us and do so much to help us, whether our problems be small or mini-van-sized.

I am grateful for our friends the O'Neills, and Shaun in particular today.  He is always so happy to help, so ready to be of service in a pinch, and we're lucky to have him as such a close friend.  (His wife and kids are awesome as well, but I didn't get to talk to them today, though that would have been really nice.)

I am grateful for Baylor's school and all the people in it.  While the parking lot is a bit of a nightmare in normal circumstances, let alone the mess it was today because of my delinquent car battery, everything else about the school is amazing.  The people, especially, cannot be beat; they were so kind to us and so sympathetic to our plight.  They offered us a phone, a place to sit, and so much more.  Even the kids were awesome today; so many of Baylor's little classmates said hi to him on their way to their buses, and it made me so glad to know we are part of such a positive community.

I am grateful for my friend Melanie, the mom of Baylor's playgroup buddy, who graciously took Mollie with her and her younger son to the Gardens while I got the car from my mom's house and regrouped a bit.  Truth be told, I was a frazzled mess after the whole experience, and it was awesome to know that Mollie was in safe, kind hands.

I am grateful for the little funny moments here and there that helped keep me relatively calm.  Like when Baylor told his principal as he passed by us that our car was "stuck in traffic".  Or when Baylor, trying so hard to make me feel better, told me excitedly that, "Hey, maybe we could just get a new car!"

And I'm grateful that that was it, just a dead battery.  Thoughts swirled in my head the entire time as to what could possibly be wrong with it, and I'm glad that's all it was.

Have a wonderful night!

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