By Susan Goldstein of Seriously? Life is Too Short; and So Am I
We had just relocated for the third time in about as many years. During that span, we went from one to two babies. It would be a blasphemous understatement to say that I was … simply overwhelmed by Life. Oh, no. It was much more than that. It was that deep, visceral hysteria that comes over you while you are being told that you have arrived in town too late to get your children into daycare. “Why weren’t you here in June to sign up?” Well, snotty, self-righteous secretary to the School’s Administrator, I didn’t KNOW THAT I WOULD BE LIVING IN YOUR STINKING FILTHY TOWN WAY BACK IN JUNE!! To be perfectly truthful, I was much more polite, as I begged, wheedled and cried to be put on a waiting list. Obi-Wan: you are my only hope!
Imagine two kids in car seats, two kids in diapers, two kids who needed to have some type of fun as they were dragged to new doctor appointments, new grocery stores, new playgrounds, new everything by a directionally-challenged mother. We spent so much time being lost and listening to me cry and scream at the other drivers. This was New Jersey. Their highway signage system was pretty much, “If you don’t know how to get to where you’re going, get the fuck outta our town.” It was an awful summer.
I belonged to AAA, because back then, they made the cutest mapping systems for long trips from St. Louis, Misery (that was unkind: St. Louis was a pretty nice stop) to Somewhere in New Jersey. AAA also proved worth their weight in gold, because they could open car doors back when you could still lock your keys inside. Once, I slammed the door locked and shut while simultaneously realizing that the baby was still sleeping in his little seat. AAA came and saved the day. Dispatch began to know me by my typically high-pitched, distraught voice, so imagine my chagrin when they informed me one particularly hellacious day that their services did not include jimmying open front doors to houses. I would have to call a locksmith.
The month was August. We were hot and tired and sweaty and hungry and I had to go to the bathroom in a big way. I did not want to call a locksmith. The children and I trooped to the back door, hoping that it was unlocked, but of course it was locked tighter than the headache that was forming in my brain. I pulled a MacGuyver – if MacGuyver was a freaked-out mother at the end of her rope. I told my toddlers to stand way back and grabbed a brick and hurled it through the window. I expected my sons to cry in terror at Mommy Godzilla, but they were impressed. I reached through the broken glass, surprising myself that I wasn’t cut to shreds in the process, and unlocked the door. We all celebrated and then I called Walter’s Window Glass Repair and $250 later no one was the wiser.
I would like to report that I never locked us out of the house again. But that would be a big fat lie. I think my brain got left behind on the moving van. I did have the sense to make copies of the house key and distribute them to several of our new neighbors. They were always happy to welcome us, with cookies for the kids and a nice big glass of wine for their freaked-out mom.
I drank a lot of wine that summer.
The happy ending? That bitchy secretary called to announce that they had two openings at the preschool for my sons. I’ll drink to that!
About the Author
Susan has relocated over fifteen times in her lifetime; it is False News that she is in the Witness Protection Program. She has, however, found paradise in Delray Beach, with her husband and his dog (when said dog pukes on the carpet) and her dog (when said dog is being cute). She has been published in Silver Birch Press, Mothers Always Write, Mamalode, JustBe Parenting, Parent Co. and soon, Lunch Ticket. Follow her blog, “Seriously? Life is too short, and so am I” at very-seriously.com