Brewed and Unscrewed

One Little Birdie

It was an ordinary fall day; full of puffy clouds and a cool breeze that smelled faintly of leaves. My window was down and my short, dark hair was snapping back and forth, lightly stinging my freckled cheeks. Tortoise colored sunglasses covered half my face and kept the sun’s rays from reaching my blue eyes and the smile on my face touched my ears; a sign that all was right and beautiful in the world.

The black leather on my minivan’s seat was getting just enough sun to be warm to the touch, radiating heat onto my shoulders. My girls, one and five, were giggling happily as I sang along to the 90’s hip-hop song drifting from the speakers.

I knew each word with precision, of course.

I signaled to switch lanes, cautious that I was clear, and checked my blind spot. As I turned my head back to facing front, a small, shiny Civic darted across three lanes like a silver bullet and cut my black swagger wagon off.

On instinct, I gasped, whaled on my horn, and slammed on my brakes sending freshly bought produce sailing through my vehicle, now coming to an abrupt stop. A bottle of delicious red wine rolled all the way to the console, still wearing the white plastic bag and somehow brand new baby wipes ended up in my lap.

My eyes rushed up to the rear-view and thankfully my girls were still smiling. “Are you alright?” I asked my oldest.

“Yep,” she answered. The kids barely even noticed. Knowing all limbs were in tact, the New-York-angry-driver in me took over.

I pulled my black-on-black Dodge next to the Civic and offered my biggest grin to the driver, a girl wearing obnoxiously massive hoop earrings. This woman’s ignorance behind the wheel could have easily turned my good day sideways, but it didn’t.

I passed her and, still providing a full smile, I gave her the bird.

My daughter saw my finger and asked, “Was that the sign language for ‘no,’ Momma?” her voice pure and sweet like honey.

I barely contained a laugh before answering, “It was something like that.”

It was still an ordinary fall day; full of puffy clouds and a cool breeze that smelled faintly of leaves.

By the grace of something greater, all was still right in the world.