Yesterday on my way out of the office, I jinxed myself.
"Well let's see if I can get home tonight," I said to my boss and smiled.
Less than three miles from home and Cadence's school, I paused in a left hand lane and that's when it started. Or rather, didn't start again. Talk about deja vu. Like 48 hours before, the battery light illuminated my dash board and I was going nowhere.
This time, on the eve of what used to be a wedding anniversary, I felt a little more angst. I felt the grief that comes with knowing that because of distance or dysfunction, the people one is "supposed" to rely on aren't available.
I had car trouble one cold evening when Cadence was two. I had a conference call and was going to take it at my boss's house where her older children could occupy Cadence. Then in the dark I couldn't find the house, so I parked in a restaurant parking lot. My battery died and so did my phone. It was stressful and frustrating.
And when my husband arrived, I did not feel relief. I felt the stress peak. My evening's snafus had been inconvenient.
The location of this car failure was inconvenient too. AAA's roadside assistance kept me on hold, so I abandoned that task for the moment and arranged for a friend to pick up my daughter. Next on the list was finding transportation to and from the evening's girl scout meeting where my junior scout was a featured presenter.
With those details secured, I was able to call AAA again. My friend pulled up and watched the precarious location and how impatient drivers were whipping to my left and right to get around me.
"I thought I was going to watch an accident right in front of us!"
The contractor towing service arrived and lifted my car onto his truck in no time. With my car in good hands, my friend drove me home to meet her husband and my daughter who were waiting for me to bring her materials and for her troop leader to take her to the meeting.
Cadence's evening plans were back on track, so I stood with my friends in the kitchen. With some compulsion, I tore a book away from its spiral binder as we talked. I explained that I planned to put the paper in the recycle bin, but couldn't do it with the spiral binder and I was feeling a little keyed up and this repetitive motion seemed to help.
My voice quivered. "Moments like this make me feel more vulnerable than usual."
I mapped out the calls I'd made before I reached the friends who had saved my day and were now in my kitchen.
"Well, next time you can move our names up to the first-to-call, okay? We're family. We're here for you."
I expressed my gratitude and sent them on their way. They had their own anniversary to celebrate.
I was grateful for a little time on my own to decompress before my responsibilities to feed my child and guide her through homework began. I watched an episode of West Wing.
The swirl of the evening woke me up at two-something. I tossed and turned. In my insomnia, I thought I heard a dripping noise. I convinced myself as Woman of the House I should check into the noise. It was the hallway toilet running. I went to bed. The noise was indeed water torture. I got back up and prayed my way into the bathroom. "Please let me be able to fix this. Please don't let this be the next thing on the list that requires money and someone else to fix."
I inspected the problem and found that the chain had slipped off the bar that keeps the thing...I don't know plumbing terminology. Anyway, I reattached the chain, the tank began refilling and the noise stopped.
I went back to bed.
I congratulated myself on fixing something.
Eventually I fell back to sleep.