Sunday, September 12, 2010

Comedy of Errors, Keeping it all in Perspective

Yesterday was a funny, funny day. And, a sad, sad day. We all have to keep it in perspective.

I woke up yesterday morning and went for my typical run. While running, I was scheming about how to get four kids (yes, we had four yesterday--sleepover) and my husband on board with me. You see, I really, really wanted to watch some of my closest friends in a triathlon that was in North Myrtle Beach, about 30-40 minutes from our house. The race started at 7am, with five waves of swimmers. I figured my fastest friend would finish around 8:30 so we would have to leave our house at 7:45 to park and get to the finish line before she did. Here's the problem: I got home from my run at 7:30. I packed the kids clothes (with the promise to go to the beach after the race--and the promise that the race ended in a super cool park), shoveled breakfast down them and me, threw beach toys in the car, convinced the husband into thinking this was a good idea and we were off--at 7:55.

We had no trouble parking--which was a surprise with over 270 race participants and their fans--and I ran down to the intersection near the finish line while Don and the kids raced to the playground. I got to see all of my friends finish the race--two first timers--and I was so excited. Almost made me want to take swimming lessons. All of my friends did great, the kids had a blast in the park and we headed just a block or two away to the beach.

It was a wonderful morning for the beach--overcast so not too hot and early enough that there were not many people. Don and the boys played and played in the water, catching waves on their boogie boards and laughing the entire time. Mallory and I built sandcastles and waded in the water. About 30 minutes after we got there, Don threw the van key to me--it had been in his pocket--and we continued playing until they were too hungry to do anymore. It was now only 11:00am.

As we approached the van, Don pressed the automatic door opener and nothing happened. He tried to unlock the doors. Still nothing. Oops. Guess where the cell phones were? In the van: comedy of errors #1. We remembered that our key had a valet option (see photo to understand that the door opener/door locker is also the key but the valet key DOES NOT start the car) so we were able to get into the car and attempted to start the car. That is right, attempted. It didn't work. So, we're stuck. Thirty to 40 minutes from home. Four kids. Four hungry kids. Yikes.

First phone call: AAA. Nope, nothing they can do. Second call: Dealership. Yes, they can do something. Just have your car towed to the nearest Dodge dealership and for $200-300 they can get you a new key. Third call: friend, Amanda whose son is being held captive in our car and who is supposed to be at a b-day party in an hour.

Amanda has access to our house so the "simplest" solution was for her to go to our house, pick up the keys ("The ones that say 'Dodge' and have tons of Food Lion type cards on them") and bring them to us. While we waited, I walked to McDonald's with my two boys in a stroller--a serious death march. On the way to McDonald's I got the call I had been dreading: Britt didn't get in to the peer mentor program he auditioned for. Bummer.

Shortly after we got back from McDonald's and we had a car full of happy kids, we saw Amanda pull up. Hooray! We are saved. Amanda gets out of her truck and I gather her son's sleepover stuff and then she hands me the keys. The Honda keys. Yes, she brought the wrong set. The comedy continues.

Trey, Britt and I pile into her truck with her son. Don and Mallory stay with the car and play at the park (there wasn't enough room for them in the truck Amanda brought). We drop Gus off at his birthday party and Amanda's husband (who had to drop Amanda's other two kids at the party) drives me back to my house to get the van keys. The boys and I load back up into our HONDA and drive to NMB.

So, finally, at 3:15pm, we make it home. Home, sweet home.

A few hours later, we go out to a birthday celebration and the "good" keys to the van decide not to open the automatic doors or lock the car. We changed both batteries in both van keys and they now both start the car, but neither of them open the doors or lock them. Darn those conveniences. They are very addictive. I had forgotten what it was like to manually open doors, especially while grocery shopping!

On our way to church this morning, the "low tire pressure" light went on. We filled all the tires with air and the light will not go off. I guess we will be calling the dealership tomorrow.

During the ordeal, on the way to McDonald's, Trey said, "This is the worst day ever." Wow. He's a very lucky kid. If these little funny, not at all tragic things make this the worst day ever, he's very, very lucky.

I asked him if he remembered the people that we saw setting up for the 9-11 commemoration on the way to the car from the beach. I asked him if he knew what it was about. I explained to him that we had a few unfortunate things happen, but this is not the worst day ever. For some, it might be the worst "date" ever, but for us, not the worst day. Am I bummed that Britt didn't get to be a peer mentor? Of course. But, the worst day ever. Not even close!

When we finally got the right keys to the car and were ready to pull out, Don ran over a glass bottle in the Honda (so, it doesn't explain why the van's low tire pressure light is on). He was quite furious. I quickly put it in perspective for him.

You see, this week, we had a friend of several of our friends die of a massive heart attack at age 34. Yes, 34. He left a 5 year old son and a pregnant wife. You see, I told Don , "You didn't lose your spouse today." We have to put it in perspective.

Trey has had a hayday telling and re-telling the story. He can't wait to write about it in school tomorrow. He knows it wasn't the worst day ever, just a funny experience with his family.

And Britt? We are thinking about some other options for him. We've been thinking about this for awhile. He'll be fine. And, he can still be a mentor to his little sister, Mallory!

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