We had 25 minutes to meet my husband and oldest son at his baseball game, which was only seven minutes away, when I passed my favorite yogurt store and made an impromptu decision – fantasized about for the entire day – to stop and get myself a cup.
“Nooooooo!” my two younger boys groaned from the backseat. “No stopping!”
I shot them my mean mom stare. “I don’t want to hear that. I do everything for you guys. You can eat ice cream for me. Sheesh.”
They just rolled their eyes, and shook their heads at my pathetic desperation. Who were these judgmental ice cream haters?
“It’ll just be a quick pit-stop.” I say, overly cheerful. The nearness to my fix makes me a little wild-eyed and fidgety.
We park in the closest spot, and within minutes, I am ordering myself a peanut butter and cappuccino covered in chocolate crunchies. Neither my five or eight year-old want anything. Really?
We’re back in the car lickety-split. “See, I told you guys. Perfect timing!”
I put the car in gear and go… straight over something. Oops. What was that? A curb? A small divider? Eh. Whatever. I’ll just keep going.
I hit the gas. The front of the car dips down over the curb? Bump? Divider? We stop. I try to go forward, but there is an ominous scratching sound. Uh oh.
“What’s that noise, mommy?” My eight year-old asks.
“Uh, nothing.” I hit the gas again. The screeching noise returns and the car won’t budge. I put it in reverse. Won’t budge. This could be bad.
“Are we stuck?” the backseat interrogator asks.
Out the window, people walking past stare at us with their mouths hanging open in horrified amazement, or possibly amusement. A car goes by and the driver stares directly at me. I can read the slow motion words on his lips. “Oh Shiiiiit.”
There was nothing left to do, but get out and see the damage.
By now, a crowd had gathered to gawk and giggle at the dumb mom who can’t drive, and her amazing unmovable vehicle. Can’t go forward. Can’t go backward. Hear it wail in agony. Or, that might just be me.
I needed to call AAA, but first I needed to call…. my husband. Da Da Dummmm!
I was afraid, first because the car had recently been fixed from the bump in the night a few months back. Second, because last week, I did something similar over a rock.
My son’s game was minutes from starting.
“Hey, where are you?” My husband answers, all business.
“I had a little accident.”
From the backseat peanut gallery, “Mommy ran over a parking lot!”
“I did not run over a parking lot!” I huff.
Long exhale from my husband. “Is everyone okay?”
“Everyone is fine. Not sure about the car, though.”
“Okay, just call AAA. Don’t worry.” Don’t worry? He must have been surrounded by parents and children. Hope they all come home with him.
I look over to my yogurt; the crunchies perfectly melted into the sweet creamy goodness. If I wouldn’t have stopped, we would be at my son’s game right now, and my sons wouldn’t be chanting from the backseat, “Mommy can’t drive! Mommy can’t drive!”
I leisurely reached for the cup. Wasn’t like we were going anywhere.