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Forging Ahead

April 9, 2013

Several people have come up to me lately and said something to the effect of:

“Usually when I read mom-blogs I feel bad about myself that I’m not a better mother, but then I read your blog and I feel so much better about myself!”

I am not sure how to interpret this.  It reminds me of last year when I met a fellow mom and she said, “I expected you to look more weathered.”

Compliment? Not-a-compliment? Compliment? Not-a-compliment? I can’t decide.

Although it has taken me a full five days to gather the little pieces of my pride off the floor of the garage, I am ready to tell the truth, and make you all feel better about yourselves.

My name is Lucy.  I crash into things with my van.

Last Thursday I was panicked early (as is my custom) and decided to pack the malodorous candy-wagon for our Saturday return to Minneapolis.

Note: the drive down to Birmingham really took a toll on the scent of the van…when we load up, the children have been known to holler, “Ew, ew, open the windows!” On the plus side, the strength of Nini’s perfume when she road in the van was a real air-freshener.  Now if I could just hang her  from my rear view mirror I would be in business.

So I was packing the van with the sliding door open, when it began to rain.  I decided to drive the van (slowly and carefully mind you) into the garage.  In the interest of efficiency, I decided to drive into the garage with sliding door open so that I could very conveniently continue to pack without even having to open the van door.  I don’t know what happened.  I must’ve blacked out, because the next thing I knew our van had no sliding door.

I tried in vain to perform some amateur body work to the van.  Then I tried to perform some equally ineffective amateur carpentry to the side of the garage.  There was nothing to be done but tell Dan and my parents the truth.

I first gathered the children, thinking at least we can learn something from this.

1. When you have done something wrong and are embarrassed, tell your parents right away so they can help you.

2. When you must deliver bad news, always begin with, “There’s been an accident (best use the passive voice), but we are all okay.”

The conversation went as follows:

Me: “We’ve been in an accident, but we are okay.” (Techically true as the children were in the house which was in the accident.)

Dan: “What?  What? Where did it happen? Where are you now?”

Me: “We are home now.  And the accident happened in the garage.”

He was so relieved to hear that we were all okay that I felt like the bearer of good news.  In fact, my delivery was so effective that I have decided to preface all unfortunate announcements with: “The children and I are okay, but…”

For example: “The children and I are okay, but we have lost a library book.”

Or: “The children and I are okay, but I forgot to return a DVD.”

To add insult to injury we had just that morning been at Susanna’s and seen a little sign she had embroidered for David hanging by their back door.

“Let the wife make the husband glad to come home…” -Martin Luther

I thought that Dan, being a student of church history, would appreciate if I embroidered such a sign for him.  He has also mentioned several times that he was hoping for a wife who sewed.

Susanna got me all set up with embroidery supplies, and I was hurrying to get the van packed so I could set about my stitching. After the accident, I called Susanna crying, “This does not make the husband glad to come home.”  She was very consoling and suggested that my embroidery read: “Let the wife make the husband glad to hear, ‘We’re all okay!'”

I was just so embarrassed. Especially when I considered that twice on this visit my Dad had urged me not to crash into  the side of the garage.  When my mom called him with the news his only comment was, “Well, it’s not like she hasn’t done it before.”

Dan, of course was wonderful.  He said we didn’t have to tell anybody and no one would know.

There is just one problem with that.  Due to the imminent nature of our road trip, the Honda body shop had to rush the job.  The new door is black.  I thought maybe no one would notice.  But they have.  So I figured I might as well tell the world about my little problem. I am also starting a support group for garage crashers where we can share tips (beyond the proverbial tennis ball on a string) on how not to crash into the garage.

Email me if you or someone you love is looking for a support group.  We will hold our secret meetings in my garage.

More on our unfortunate drive to Minneapolis later.  It was bad.  It was real bad.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. bethbulger permalink
    April 9, 2013 8:29 am

    Lucy, I love this. Could I have your permission for Bill Wacker to use part of it (the part about telling the truth to your husband) when he introduces the Marriage in Christ session in Farmington next Monday? He and his wife Adella are the host couple. It’s fun to start with a joke that makes a point–especially a real-life one.

    Marriage in Christ is the thing George filmed.

    Bless you guys and your trip,


  2. Vicki Schwab permalink
    April 9, 2013 9:30 am

    That was a hilarious story! It was a great way to start my day with a good laugh. You are a funny and gifted writer. Good luck with all your future garages. Vicki (Lori McFadden’s sister)

  3. April 9, 2013 9:32 am

    Lucy, we all run into things with cars. Immovable or moving objects get in our way.
    I usually give Phil the “good news/bad news option”. He always chooses the last option which makes him seem complicit! ( Funny we never get around to the good news choice.) Actually I only remember 3 big ones: backing a van into an immovable telephone pole, swiping the side mirror from the car door on a post at the Galleria, and more recently having a deer “run into” our Honda Civic, making it unfixable. It all becomes part of the nitty gritty story of “the way we were,” and trust me, in time those stories land on both sides:)

    To Phil’s credit, there is never a note of blame or chastisement, but only a sprint to action to solve the dilemma.

  4. April 9, 2013 12:42 pm

    Lucy, I love your blog. Not only because you are super-human and take care of twice as many children as I do, you are honest and a great writer. I share your blog with all my mum-friends, praying they too will find comfort, solace, and a good laugh to encourage and refresh their souls.
    This post has done it again! Let me know when you want to write a book, we got some connections….!
    With love from caNAda!

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