Friday nights are typically pretty low key for our family. Alex has dance class, and the other two kiddos usually stay home with Mark while I take Al to class. After that, we have an easy dinner, then everyone is off to bed (parents are exhausted by 9pm on Fridays!). I was looking forward to another one of these pleasantly predictable evenings, but the universe seemingly had different plans.
I received a phone call from Mark; I expected him to tell me that he got delayed in a meeting at work, and wouldn’t make it home in time to stay with the kids…meaning that I would have to drag everyone out and listen to Addie and Andrew whine and fight all through the hour we’d spend at the dance studio. Not fun. I was rather annoyed at the mere thought of it; it’s been a long, wonky week (two snow days and one delayed start, remember!) and I needed a break from cranky kids.
I answered Mark’s call, preparing to hear the news of a late arrival, and not expecting to hear “My car is dead. On the freeway. Not sure where.” Suuuuuuper. I take it back; the “I’m running late” speech would be way better than this announcement. I began to panic a bit. If he didn’t know exactly where on the freeway he was stopped, then how would I ever find him? The kids were going to freak, especially Alex, who really looks forward to his dance class every week. Mark proceeded to explain that he was just letting me know not to wait for him, that he would have the car towed.
I should mention that this car is 14 years old, has been completely rebuilt (engine and such) at least once, has gone through endless repairs, and has been on its last legs for the last couple of years. This was inevitable. It broke down last week (on my birthday, fun!), but we were able to jump it and get it going again. It (surprisingly) survived the Polar Vortex. Alas, it seems as though that was its last hurrah, as it now sits sadly in the driveway.
And we are left to figure out how to replace it (and yes, take the kiddos along when we go car shopping tomorrow). The prospect of getting a new car should be exciting, not headache inducing; but, when only one parent works, any major purchase can bring about physical reactions. I know that we’ll figure it out, as we always manage to find a solution, but until it’s settled, I’ll just be over here, stressing out about something new.
I should just be thankful that Mark made it home in one piece. Once we were all home and getting ready for dinner, Mark told me how he was just driving along, in the middle left lane, when all the sudden the gas pedal gave out and the car made a terrible noise. That was it: weird noise, then no power. He was coasting along on the freeway, during rush hour, yet somehow managed to make it over to the far left to come to a stop on the shoulder. He contacted me, then AAA, then the police…as the power went out completely and he had no hazard lights. Cars were whizzing past him, as he sat helplessly in the broken down car; scary! The police came along to light some flares, then left him again. Of course, his phone died, but the tow truck finally arrived and brought Mark and the car home. Hopefully someone else can come get it sooner rather than later, as it was dumped right in the center of the driveway (I may have driven through the grass a bit to get my van into the garage when we got home…but that’s the least of my worries right now).
So tomorrow, as you’re enjoying your leisurely Saturday afternoon activities, think of me. I’ll be stuck at a car dealership, half listening to Mark negotiate a price on a new car while the kids tear the joint apart and I rip all my hair out. Good times.