Yes, today I was THAT mom, dropping my kids off at school with a Popsicle and an Italian ice. I was THAT mom who brought her kids way too early, and asked the office if they could just sit in the entryway hall. I was THAT mom who handed them the treats and ran out the school door. But there is much much more to the story…
The day started well, up at 5:30 to feed the cat and start some laundry and begin the process of waking up the 12 year old for middle school. Sure, the coffee over flowed into the counter and the child took 30 minutes to even get out of bed, but these things happen.
I had plenty of time to make a sandwich for the oldest, lay out appropriate snack choices for the middle one, and check that the little one had packed her snacks the night before. I had plenty of time to fold a load of laundry, tidy the living room, empty the dishwasher and fill some water bottles for the kids too. I even had time to make cheesy bread and cinnamon toast for the littles, so that it would be hot and ready when I woke them up.
There was a slight snag in clothing choices for the middle one, but overall we did fairly well; we were all four out the door by 7:10 all dressed, with breakfast-to-go for the littles and the biggest packed for band, school and soccer.
We had an uneventful drive to the middle school, even got her there better than her father, she said. There wasn’t even a line at drop off to worry about. But then, after I kissed my pre-teen goodbye, and watched her walk to the school…as I pulled away from the curb, my car gave a small lurch like I had missed a gear.
I checked my shifting and tried a little rev of the engine as I turned out of the middle school. But the driving didn’t get smoother, it got bumpier, lumpier, and decidedly more rough. It was a roughness I have felt once before in my life, back when I was 16 and new to driving. A bump that meant I wasn’t going home to finish calmly getting the littles ready for school by reading a book with all out extra time. A lump that meant $400-$1000, as well as 20 minutes to an hour on the side of the road. A sad lumpy, bumpy, rough ride, a flat tire.
I limped to a safe turn out just past the school driveway to assess the situation. Yup. Flat. Dead. No air in the driverside front tire at all. A blow out. The end of the road for that 215/55R16, as well as the other three (all wheel drive).
7:26 am, a mom and two little people broken down on the side of the road, right outside the high school and middle school. A mom trying to do the best she can, with her husband currently on an airplane traveling for business for the weekend. A mom who tries to wrestle the full spare tire out of the soccer-gear packed trunk, and tries to figure out the strange (but really cool) Audi car jack. A mom who is trying to show her trio of young ladies that girls can do anything; girls can be strong, confident, resourceful, and mechanical minded. A mom who panics, looses it, and calls one of her dads for help.
So, yes, I was that mom at 8:15 with two little people who are recovering from strep throat but no longer contagious, and getting over the exhaustion. They are two little people who still have sore throats that will feel better with Popsicles and Italian ice, when facing a new day at school with a rushed and crazy start. I am THAT mom, and I hope they had a better morning than I did: changing my tire (with rather tight lug nuts) on the side of the road.