family, Life, parenting

Cherish the Uncertainty of Life’s Adventures

It was supposed to be a little trip to pick up some pumpkins for the pigs.

Cherish the uncertainty of life's adventures

Just a little trip.

What’s more, it’s through our version of Amish country and seeing the buggies out is always a treat.

But things didn’t go exactly as planned.

First off, I took a wrong turn. My son took this as a sign that we should not be doing this. A few pumpkins is not worth the time or the gas. Which I had precious little of.

So we stopped to refuel. We ran into a friend who told us about Santa and hot dogs and a raffle for our robotics club.

“Can we go? Can we go?”

Of course we could go. It was just a little trip to pick up the pumpkins. We’d be back in plenty of time. My son again attempted to talk me out of this fool’s errand. He does not like car trips. Even if they are little ones through Amish country. A life with no electricity holds no fascination whatsoever for him.

And perhaps there is a point when you cut your losses. When you realize you have already invested enough time and energy into a dozen or so pumpkins and it is time to move on. If so, that point is well beyond where my stubbornness kicks in.

And it would take less than an hour to get them, putting us where we wanted to be right on time. It would work out perfectly. Because who wants to sit around for an hour waiting for Santa? (Don’t answer that.)

At any rate, that’s how I ended up driving south for the second time (only this time on the right road), allowing me to make yet another wrong turn. This one, however, did not lead me in a convenient circle. This one led me down a gravel road that ended a little before I realized. As in I was suddenly on nothing but mud.

What’s a little mud? I have four wheel drive, right? Thing is, I didn’t. I pushed that little button and nothing happened. And I don’t know how many of you know this, but if your four wheel drive isn’t activated, you have rear wheel drive which is essentially useless in slippery conditions.

Then I began the long slow slide down the hill which ended with me facing east west on a north south road.

And I had given my daughter the cell phone. In fact, I had joked that if I wasn’t home when she got home to call the police and send an ambulance my way.

“This is why you don’t make these kinds of trips for pumpkins.”

My son was full of wisdom. So I sent him out of the car to push until we got the car out of the way as much we could.

All we had to do was get to a phone before my daughter left for Lincoln.

“Worst case, we go back to the car. Dad will be off by midnight at the latest. I think there’s a hotel in town, but if not, we’ll be fine in the car.”

And with that, we marched. A quarter mile through mud and another half mile through town. With my son pointing out each and every step would have been unnecessary had I only taken his sage advice. My goal was the gas station (and ignoring my son. Let’s not underestimate the value nor the self control behind saying nothing at all). But then I saw Subway.

Subway, precious Subway. What a sight to behold! Warmth and chairs and drinks and food and a phone.

And the worst case scenario became the best case scenario. Not only did I get hold of my daughter, but she AND her friend drove down to rescue us. We’d go home all in one fabulous trip.

But as we talked over soft drinks and cookies (can you believe that as I handed out cups, I told them they could get whatever they wanted?) you know what my children said the highlight of their week was?

Getting stuck in the mud and hiking to Subway. For them, it was an adventure. They saw tracks of deer, raccoon, coyote and even fox. They got to slip around in the mud and tease their mom and, for a little while at least, everyone knew how to drive better than mom. They laughed and hiked and loved the whole misadventure of it. And when asked what he thought the best part of the week was, even my son answered,

“Mom seeing the error of her ways.”

Which I think is thirteen-year-old-speak for “I kinda had fun, too.”

20 thoughts on “Cherish the Uncertainty of Life’s Adventures

  1. “My goal was the gas station (and ignoring my son. Let’s not underestimate the value nor the self control behind saying nothing at all)”

    Can you teach a class on the parenthetical advice and self-control in “just saying nothing at all” . . because I LOSE right there EVERY. TIME. This beats Santa and a VERY slow show hands down!

  2. Update to the story:

    I tell you, cars are as bad as computers. This world has gone nuts. So I get the car mired in mud yesterday. Today, my husband and I drove down to see if the road had dried out any.
    As I stood there with about ten pounds of mud stuck to my boots, I thought, “No way.” The road hadn’t gotten any better. Except then my husband starts the car and drives right up the hill.
    No problems whatsoever. I verbally bowed to his superior driving, because what can you do when your husband takes a few of his precious hours off to fix your messes?
    But do you know the real reason the car drove? Without any trouble whatsoever? The 4WD worked. He pushed the button and it turned on. Because apparently, when you’re 4WD doesn’t work, you turn the car off and then back on to see if that will work.
    It’s right in my user manual.
    Because cars have gotten so high tech, they’re as bad as computers and periodically need rebooted.

    1. Yes. I was already frustrated and trying really hard not to just snap at him, which really wasn’t deserved for not wanting to walk all the way back to town!

    1. Yes, we’re a little more concerned about how we’re going to get the car back and to everything planned for the week. Kids live a little more in the moment!

    1. I used to do that when I was a kid. I’d go bike riding until I got lost and then find my way home. It was a large edition, so not that hard to find my way home, but it always felt like such an adventure, anyway!

  3. Your son’s response made me chuckle. Even though it wasn’t as expected, you all got home in one piece…. and added a scary but happy ending story to your memory bank.

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