Jeff recently bought a new car. It's beautiful. I'm pissed about it but I have to admit it's beautiful- deep midnight blue, shiny, sweet, perfect. Well, at least it was until yesterday evening. It has a manual transmission, a 6-speed, in fact. It's very vroom vroom. Though it seats 4 people, I would not call it a family car. Originally he told me he was getting the all-wheel drive model. But then he found out from the dealership that he couldn't get the all wheel drive model and the manual transmission. He just neglected to inform me of this change until the car arrived. Thus my anger with the situation. It is mitigated somewhat on the rare occasions when I actually get to drive it.
So we had a full day of nothing much at all (for all you Replacement Fans) yesterday. Excavators in the front yard, 3 or 4 dump trucks, rebar, hammer drills, masonry saws, you know, just a typical Friday. Just those words get me all excited. I'm such a hillbilly. Anyway, the kids had their first morning off of school. Henry spent his time in our bed reading, playing with the iPad and watching cartoons. Elliot was in the back yard chasing butterflies. It was precious. I mean just so sweet, it brought tears to my eyes. He would skip and hop and jump to grasp at them as they were darting to and fro. Every one of these attempts were fruitless--I'm glad of it, too. Because had he actually leaped and slapped his hands together and caught one, it would have been more butter than fly, if you know what I mean.
They had to go to a picnic for their old school at 3pm. Then we had to be at their new school at 6pm. Thank God it was a picture perfect early summer evening. There were friends, a lake, a water park, hot dogs, squirt guns and a few playgrounds at the first party. The second, a very well run Ice Cream Social at a Public school, had a dunk tank and a bunch of bounce houses. Need I say more? I felt like I'd been transported back to the 1970s (without the dope and people with the munchies every where, of course). Everybody was involved. Everybody was laughing and eating ice cream and the kids just ran and ran. Days like yesterday restore my faith in faith, public education, summer, love, family and all the simple pleasures of life that Jeff and I enjoyed during our very innocent upbringings.
In between these activities, we decided to come home and do a quick change. Jeff pulled his nice shiny new car into the garage. I wandered into the backyard picking up toy debris while Jeff was inside. I had only a vague idea of the locations of the kids.
All of a sudden, I hear a giant crash into the trees that line our property. It sounded sort of like a hurricane force wind gust hitting somewhere in the front yard. It was an unnatural sound so I ran out there to see what was going on. There, on the down slope at the edge of our property, sat Jeff's car facing uphill, ass end in the trees. I panicked. I started screaming the kids' names. First it was Elliot because he was the kid that I had last seen in the area at the time. He wandered around the corner and appeared. But there was no Henry and Jeff was not responding in the least to my screams. Finally I just screamed that panic-stricken blood curdling effing murderous scream "JEEEEEEEEEFFFFFF!!!! Where is Henry?!!!" Finally the two of them appeared in the open door from the garage to the house. I cannot do justice in words the sensation that overtook me upon seeing all of them together.
Here's where I'm going with that. I really thought that somebody took the e-brake off. I know my kids would have tried to get behind the car and stop it if it started rolling down the hill and it was somehow their fault. They're 5 and 6 and believe in Santa Claus. Okay? They would totally do that. So there I stood, blood pouring back into the extremities that felt like they were detached from my torso. Hell, I don't even HAVE a chest and the damn thing was heaving.
Jeff forgot to put the emergency brake on. The reason he did this is that he is overwhelmed. It was as simple as that. He's running in 12 different directions and doing a pretty bang-up job of all of it about 99% of the time. The driveway goes downhill. He's not used to the car. Thank God nobody was playing on their bikes behind the car.
I wanted to scream at somebody but I was just so glad all was well....except for a few dings on the trunk and back bumper the car was fine, too.
I know I cannot protect them from everything. I cannot teach them everything. Hell, I can't even make my spouse buy a practical car. The world is fraught with danger. Somebody at an Alanon meeting said that when she feels overwhelmed by her vulnerability, she mentally wraps herself and the other objects of her fear up in a blanket and gently hands them over to God.
God got 4 swaddling bundles last night.
The bump shop gets the other.