This originally ran July 27, 2009
Janet picked me up last week for our bingo date and I was ready to go. I was relishing the thought of grown-up company, especially that of my bowling team. I’ve missed them during our summer hiatus! You spend a few hours with the ladies throughout the school year and it makes a difference without them!
Janet arrives exactly on time. She brought Phil, her 10 year old son, who was waiting here for his dad to pick him up. The dogs are barking, kids are bouncing. The house is in an uproar. You might think it was the unexpected company, but this is the state of my house about 80% of the day.
I ditched the grunge clothes and had on things that matched. And coordinated. I wasn’t wearing my Crocs. (I don’t care that fashion-istas think they are ugly…they are freakin’ comfortable!) I had on (gasp!) makeup and jewelry. I was in full Beauty Advisor persona!
Jim’s getting dinner ready. I’m trying to get out of the door. I’m dodging questions, trying to begin a meaningful dialogue with Janet. All while tripping over dogs and kids trying to get to the door.
I did make a stop so Phil could stand next to me and gloat over the fast that he’s almost three inches taller than me! Seriously, a soon-to-be fifth grader towers over me. But it was Phil and he’s a sweetie, so I didn’t mind all that much. Janet’s six feet tall, so he has a ways to go before towering over her!
Janet and I make it to the front door. We’re out of the door. Her mini van is in sight…and she drops her keys, delaying us slightly.
The next thing I know, Aaron is approaching via the garage. I knew I should have strewn something across the path from the house to the drive way. Anything to delay him! Some broken glass shards? Pieces of glass rods?
Jim’s in the garage looking for something. Aaron’s on the driveway.
“O’Mom! Can I ask you something?” He never just asks. He always prefaces it with my newly appointed Irish name, O’Mom.
“There’s your dad, ask him.”
“But, Mom! I want…”
“Your dad is right there…ask him!” I hear the hysteria in my voice getting clearer.
I’m hissing to Janet to get the car open, stat. She’s fumbling with the keys. Phil’s the same age as Aaron so she knows the relentlessness of the 10-year old boy.
We get into the car and slam the doors. Aaron’s at the door, knocking on the window. “O’Mom! Can I ask you something?!”
“There’s your dad!” I screech, “Ask him!”
I’m hissing as Janet under my breath, “Drive! Drive away now!”
Now Jim’s in the driveway, getting ready to ask me for something. I sing-song to Aaron through the closed window, “Mommy’s leaving! I can’t hear you! I can’t see you! Go ask Daddy!”
Janet slams the van into reverse, we fly out of the driveway. Now I am no longer hissing under my breath, but out loud, “Let’s get out of here.”
Yes, I’ve had my get-away car experience. And it was to flee my child.
I didn’t look in the rear view mirror. But I am imagining Aaron running after the van as it spun out down the street. When he finally stops, forlorn because he cannot catch the vehicle, his face is covered in soot from the exhaust and smoke from the tires spinning on the pavement.
I get home four hours later and barely walk through the door when Aaron appears. He’s wrapped in his blankets. “O’Mom! Can I ask you something?!”
“You’re supposed to be in bed! I’ll talk to you in the morning!” I run up the stairs and bolt my door shut. “Good night! I love you!”
Twenty-three days until school starts…