For the better part of twenty years, I’ve chauffeured kids back and forth to school, ball practice, assorted club meetings, meet the teacher opportunities, birthday parties, sleepovers, Scout meetings, music lessons, and general unidentifiable social obligations. I might not have always had a song in my heart, but for the most part I managed not to shoot poison darts at anyone. Not with any degree of accuracy anyway.
One day this week, Son One had to pick his brother up from school. I thought the child was going to have to file for disability. He can go for six weeks on three hours sleep a night, trudge through ice in his socks to retrieve his favorite CD from my car, and hip-check a falling bookcase into submission, but he can’t do the school run without turning in a performance worthy of the Jerry Springer show.
Later, the phone rang at work. Against my better judgment, I answered.
“Mom, I’ve had to drive all day. I’m starving and my legs hurt.”
Our refrigerator holds more food than the Pittsburgh Steelers can eat on game day. And his car has an automatic transmission. His legs shouldn’t hurt unless he stuck his feet out the bottom and powered the car at a gallop like Fred Flintstone.
I thought back to a time when the kids’ schedules were carefully spaced in such a way that if I dared take the time to venture by the house to snag a sandwich during the after school rush, somebody would turn my kids in to Social Services and call me from the office to insult my parenting skills.
“I feel your pain,” I said soothingly.
“No, Mom. You feel your pain. Mine hurts worse.”
It’s a testimony to my self discipline that the receiver didn’t melt in my hand.
Luckily, Mom wisdom can be dispensed by phone. It took three peanut butter sandwiches, two layers of deep heating rub, and a Boo Boo Bunny ice pack to make him feel better.
Tomorrow I’ll have him pick up the dry cleaning.
Boo Boo Bunny can use the workout.