Monday, February 2, 2009
Adventures in Real Parenting: The Bliss That Is Ignorance
This morning, very early, my mobile phone went off in my pocket. It was The Actor. I flipped my phone open and barely got out a quick "hello" before The Actor, a little breathless and rushed, blurted out "The Dancer wrecked her car."
Time froze for a moment. A split of a split split second.
"Is everyone okay?" First things first! The Dancer was driving both The Actor and Cupcake to school since MathMan had to leave so early and my car isn't running.
I could hear The Dancer in the background, she sounded like she was giving instructions. I reached for the home phone to dial 911.
The Actor still seemed rushed. "We're fine. She just ran off the road a little, no big deal, we're fine. There's no damage on the car."
"Where are you?"
"Where Dad wrecked his car."
I could picture it. A longish bend on Miller Farm Road next to a pasture where long-horned cattle stand around looking bored. MathMan went into a fishtail spin there a couple of years ago and ended up off the edge of the road, his car nearly on its side, a mirror gone, some dents and the whole driver side of his Corolla bearing a new design scratched into the silver paint by the barbed wire fence his car rested against.
"You're sure you're okay. Everyone is okay."
"We're fine! We've got to get to school," he announced and was gone.
I hung up my phone and went back to what I was doing. No damage. No injuries. I didn't hear anyone having a meltdown in the background. I figured that they'd run a little off the road, as The Actor had described it, and were able to pull out of the ditch with no problem.
A little while later, The Dancer called to tell me that she'd gotten the others off to school and she was heading to the high school. I quizzed her briefly and she simply said everything was fine, no damage, no big deal. She hung on the phone longer than usual, but gave no indication that anything was wrong.
I actually didn't give it another thought.
Cupcake ran up the stairs this afternoon and stood before me, her head down. She knew I was pretty pissed at her for the tummy ache nonsense earlier in the day. I told her why it was wrong, told her what her punishment would be and pointed her toward the kitchen to have something to eat and to get her homework done.
"How was your day?" I finally asked after we got through that other annoying business.
"Fine," she said, stuffing a couple of pieces of popcorn chicken into her mouth. I watched as she chewed them, savoring them. I was just getting up from the table when she opened her mouth again. I thought she was getting ready to toss more chicken in.
"I mean, it wasn't all bad, considering it started off with us spinning around in the car two and a half times on the way to school!" she chirped before popping another piece of barbecue sauce coated chicken in.
Screeeeeeech!!!! Excuse me? "Spinning around two and a half times?"
She nodded, her eyes resting on me now. "Yeah, I don't think we went around three times because when the car stopped, we were heading in the wrong direction, but I know we went around twice. Almost hit a tree and skidded. You should've seen The Dancer's face! The Actor thought it was fun......" her voice trailed off as she noticed that my face had gone ashen.
Yeah. Okay. If you're thinking that I haven't let myself think through what could have happened, you would be right. It didn't happen. The Dancer handled it. They are fine. Nothing and no one was damaged and all is well.
Did I ever tell you how MathMan used to tease me by calling me "Worst Case Scenario Lisa?" Yeah, well I'll be squeezing the image of The Dancer's little white Celica, carrying my three precious children, spinning in circles on a country road out of my head for many days to come.
This might take some work.......