It is rather fitting that this is the first post on the new blog, since I am writing about an utterly humbling experience I had the other day. A serious “DUH” incident in which I made a complete ass out of myself and came off looking like a total moron.
So fitting that I should be terrified of coming forward and saying “I am Steph Nash, not some persona I have created, just me, and that’s enough!” and the first story I tell as Just Steph Nash is one that ensures I am not too big for my britches.
Life is good that way. It keeps me in check. (Said without any sarcasm, for realz.)
(‘God, Steph, stop rambling and spill the damned story!’ you say.)
So I had signed my son up for a sports conditioning class at the Y and it started at 5pm. That is a challenge for me for sure, and I was going to meet that challenge through a carefully coordinated plan of attack. BOOM. Here it is:
- Leave work promptly at 4:30 (early, but doable).
- Race to pick up the kids at after-school care (they were under strict instructions: at 4:30, Coop was to go change into his workout stuff, and Emma–my slowpoke–was to come RUNNING as soon as they were called down for dismissal)
- Try to get in and out of the school in 5 minutes or less (a major accomplishment)
- Jet to the YMCA and hustle him in, likely at the stroke of 5:02.
At 4:31, I was KILLING IT, you guys. I had packed all my crap, closed down my computer, flew down the stairs and was in the parking lot approaching my car. My beautiful, new 4 month old car that has made driving so much more delightful than I remembered it could be. I remember thinking to myself, “You GOT this, Super Mom! NAILED it!”
(insert lolz from those of you who know that pride goeth before the dumbassery)
I hopped in the seat, turned the ignition and turned to start backing. Woops, guess I turned the ignition too fast because I didn’t QUITE get the car started. Silly me.
So I turned the ignition again, carefully and with meaning this time, and nothing happened.
Let me try that again!
DO NOT PANIC.
I stopped, I looked around my car. Nothing unusual. I hadn’t left the headlights on (my fancy new grown-up car has lights that shut off AUTOMATICALLY…wow, technology!) or the interior light, so it didn’t seem like it could be a drained battery.
I had a thought that maybe the keyless ignition wasn’t working, so I dutifully pulled out the key and tried to turn the ignition with that.
You guessed it, nothing.
I took a breath and came to terms with the fact that Cooper was not getting to the Y today. Shit! I exhaled and let it go.
I tried to call the husband, who always has a way of talking me down from the ledge and helping me see if I am missing something. Voicemail.
OK, I’m a big girl. I can call AAA without consulting him and then go in and sit in my office until they get here.
AAA told me they might not be able to get someone out there til 7:40. SERIOUSLY? I’d given up on the Y, but I had to pick the kids up by 6pm at the latest, so that was just too long to wait.
I felt the panic rise up. Drew was in Hartford, so he couldn’t get to the kids on time.
I thought it was the battery, and I noticed my boss was parked right next to me. I texted her to see if she could give me a jump. Five minutes later, she was in the parking lot with me, along with the building security guard who had jumper cables. We hooked them up. She started her car. I tried to start mine.
And nothing happened.
My boss was freezing out in the parking lot with me in her light coat. The security guard was looking on with mild interest as we tried to figure out why my new car wouldn’t start.
We tried several times. Nothing.
And now, I am seriously panicking.
How will I get my kids? Who can I call that could pick them up? Jesusgod, am I really going to have to wait here til 7:40? What about my dinner in the crockpot: is it going to burn? Can food in crockpots actually burn? Why isn’t my NEW EFFING CAR STARTING?!?! The dog has to go out–I don’t want to clean up pee and poop when I get home. Will Drew skip his workout to come get me instead? WHO WILL GET THE KIDS? The school is going to judge me for being THAT MOM AGAIN!!!! OMGOMGOMGOMGOMG!!!!!
I looked up from my panic and saw my boss on her phone. It took me a second to realize that she was arranging to catch a ride home with a co-worker. She told me I could use her car to go pick up the kids and go home and then she’d have her husband drive her into work in the morning. My boss was going to lend me her car. I was so grateful for her kindness in the moment, and in general to have such a great boss.
So, resolved to all the inconveniences of having a broken car (including what I was sure would be a hefty mechanic’s bill) I shut the hood down and grabbed my purse. I closed the car door and the car beeped at me.
What the hell?
I opened the door and didn’t see anything strange. The trunk, all the doors, and the hood were all shut. I closed the door. The car beeped again.
My boss looked at me, probably with the same confused look I had on my own face.
“Is it in gear maybe?” she asked.
The car was in reverse.
THE CAR WAS IN REVERSE.
THE WHOLE EFFING TIME.
I put it in park.
It started right up.
And I died of shame.
She had just frozen herself for like 30 minutes helping me, offered me her car and inconvenienced herself, all because I was an utter moron.
And I went and got the kids who dutifully hurried out, Cooper fully dressed and ready to be sports-conditioned in his lacrosse shorts and sweat wicking shirt.
When I told him what happened, he just hugged me and said, “It’s ok, Mom. I’m sorry you had a bad afternoon.”
And my heart melted and I loved my life and my kids and my husband (who had reassured me on the phone while I drove from the office to pick up the kids that it was an honest mistake anyone could have made) more than anything.
Because even at my most idiotic and hare-brained, I am loved. I am enough, even when I screw everything up because I am in such a rush to get everything done IN JUST THE PERFECT WAY THAT I HAVE PLANNED.
Lesson learned. Again.