Here are just a few of the highlights:
1. Aubrey was at play practice and the rest of us were in a mad dash out of the house trying to make it to Regan's soccer game on time--I had already transferred Finn's car seat to the van; I had loaded it with all the necessary supplies (lawn chairs, umbrellas, Finn's baby bag of diapers, wipes, apoo joose, and snacks). I had finally wrestled Finn into his car seat and convincingly threatened Regan and Jack to stop fighting over the "good seat" (you parents out there know what I'm talking about . . . every vehicle has one). I turned the key and the car winced and sputtered. Nothing. The engine wouldn't turn over. I tried and tried. We jumped out and re-loaded the other car in record time and headed for the game. I have AAA (a very worthwhile investment for me--especially since Jeff died) but thought I would wait to call until we got back from the game.
2. At the game, I was still choking down a donut and coffee and let the boys out to play on a playground about 50 yards from the car. Regan ran to the field and Jack led Finn to the jungle gym and slides. I could see everyone from my vantage point in the car but was afraid my donut would not survive if I tried to carry it AND twenty pounds of lawn chairs, umbrellas, my purse (easily 10 pounds on its own) and Finn's bag etc. After fewer than 5 minutes of blissful solitude, the sky erupted and a huge thunderstorm unleashed its fury upon us. I instinctively threw the last morsel of my donut onto the open seat next to me and darted into the rain to rescue poor Jack who was simultaneously trying to run and carry Finn Vietnam-style back to the car. I ran the boys back to the car and noticed Regan standing with her teammates in the middle of the field huddled under various umbrellas. The one we brought was conspicuously not among them. Where was our umbrella? I dug through the car and couldn't find it anywhere. I would later discover it on the driveway back home--sacrificed to the quick-change between cars after the van wouldn't start.
The game was cancelled, so we all drove home soaking wet with only three wimpy Subway napkins in the glove compartment to share between us--we sopped up as much as we could with the napkins and air-dried the rest of the way home. On the way, I decided to stop off at the cemetery to show the kids Jeff's finished headstone (of course, we were not going to get out). I'll try to post a picture of it here for everyone to see. It really is pretty neat. But, the kids were in no mood to be impressed so we hurried home and changed. By the way--I should note that my sister was jealous that I got rained on because it sounded "exciting." She said that her life is decidedly less engaging and that "excitement" for her consists of trying to decipher sounds around her house, "Ben--I think I hear the wind. Is that the wind?" Oh well. We can't all live glamorous lives.
3. Once home, I was emboldened and inexplicably decided to jump-start my own car battery. I know AAA does it all the time, but my cars were already parked side-by-side, hood-by-hood in the garage--how hard could it be? So, I opted to rely on the first Yahoo article to pop up after searching for "how to use jumper cables." Why ask the pros when you can leave things to chance? The article advised me to "connect one end of the red jumper cable to the positive terminal of the dead battery first" and to then "connect one end of the black jumper cable to the negative terminal of the good battery." This was already getting confusing. Then later, the article instructed me to "disconnect the jumper cables in the reverse order they were connected." At this point, I decided someone was just trying to mess with me. However, I reconsidered my initial decision to jump-start my own car battery after the e-How article I was relying on for guidance warned that "You have to be ready to prevent a possible explosion and serious injuries to yourself or others." Well, I wasn't ready for that, so I called AAA. Also, the article had the word "chassis" in it and I don't know what one of those is (I habitually blame all automotive problems on the "dubilator" which is my own made-up catch-all word for any car part--real or imagined--that is causing me problems). And before you get too smug about my idiocy, I will remind you there are likely plenty of things that I know that YOU don't--like the capital city of Gabon or how to say "ice cream cone" in Finnish (Ok--Anni, I'll give you that one).
So, in the end, Triple-A saved the day while I made tacos. And, at that point, I knew I was back on track. Aubrey went to a friend's party, Regan had a friend spend the night, and I had Tony and CeeCee and the twins over for dinner. It is now 11:12 p.m. Things are starting to look up.
Until next time . . . Thanks for reading!