Of late, I have not been the best mother in the world, so of course, when I finally have an opportunity to be one, nothing goes my way. Take yesterday, for example.
I was trying desperately to make it to my twins’ cross country meet. I’d already worked some spectacular whiteboard magic to make my attending the race even a possibility, including but not limited to a last-second carpool for my youngest. But as I headed out, I realized even those schedule changes may not be enough.
It was 5:09 p.m., and I was 6.7 miles from the course. My GPS had me arriving at my destination one minute before start time, at 5:29. But those 6.7 miles went directly through town on a two-lane road generously sprinkled with stop signs. Did that ETA take into account the notoriously-bad, eastbound rush-hour traffic?
I drove a whole mile before I reached a dead stop and the conclusion that no, GPS was not figuring in a bumper-to-bumper speed. Argh! Now my phone said I wouldn’t be there until 5:31.
The cussing started soon thereafter, as idiot after idiot made left-hand turns. Didn’t these people realize my guilt assuagement plan was rapidly falling apart? And my stupid phone kept recalculating! 5:34. 5:35. Satellites are now dead to me.
As 5:30 came and went and I was still stuck on the road, I did the math. I knew my daughter would take around 18 minutes to finish, but my son would probably be done in 14. If they started on time, I might miss his whole race. Come on!
I finally arrived at the school at 5:36 p.m. And naturally the only available parking was in the farthest lot by the buses, a fact that the woman in front of me couldn’t quite come to grips with. “Move, lady!” I shouted. I eventually whipped around her, threw my van into park, and then sprinted as best I could in my skirt and heels while navigating a minefield of mud puddles.
At last I reached the course, already filled with middle-school runners, but could find no sign of my twin-kies. Was I too late? Had all my effort been in vain? [Enter Despair, stage left.] And then my son rounded a turn, heading straight for me. His face lit up when he realized I’d come, as did my daughter’s when she jogged by shortly thereafter. I’d battled schedules, traffic, and the indecisive grandma, but I’d made it. Best mother in the world? Probably not. But I was a good one on that afternoon. Peace out.