I learned how to use jumper cables today. The skill wasn't one I was planning to acquire when I planned out our day this morning. And like most unfortunate events, the timing was indeed inconvenient. As I look back, I suppose I ought to express gratitude that I was stuck in the comfort of my own garage. The real stress stemmed from the fact that I truly had somewhere I really needed to be; which happens - oh, I don't know - not ever.
Andrew's attempt to instruct me over the phone was comical.
"The car is dead" I pause. "like, it won't start."
"It's dead?" He asks. To provide further evidence of my claim, I do my best to imitate the sound it made when I turned the key. He tries not to laugh. He's at work after all. And we all know how boring, I mean professional, he is while working.
"What can I do?"
"I need you to," before he can finish his thought, I blurt out my dilemma in true Ali Flegal fashion: In. Full. Detail.
"You realize that last night I told you my radio hasn't been working for two days? Now the car's dead and I have to be at the *Rogers* (name has been changed) house to greet the kids when they come off of the bus. The kids! THE KIDS! They are counting on me!"
I'm turning up the drama for the sake of your entertainment. However, the scenario was completely true.
With his coaching, I'm able to pop the hood and prop it open. Gold star for me! When you marry someone who is so incredibly mechanically inclined, it's easy to disregard all things car. That's his department, right? Well, clearly, that mentality was a mistake. And it caught up to me. Returning to our conversation,
"I need you to find the battery."
"This will be easy. Just look for the object that's black."
"Andrew. It's ALL black!" After failing to identify and locate the battery, it became clear that I was up a creek without a paddle. Hoping that our mechanically inclined neighbor (who I happened to have had over for dinner the night previous - with our spouses, of course!) was home, I bid my husband farewell to give him a call.
For the love of a tender mercy, he answered the call.
A minute later, he was there, showing me the battery and how to charge it (*insert more tech jargon here). I was on my way to the Roger's home a short moment later.
Lately, it seems that I've had ample opportunity to step in and help watch children in our Ward. It's been a great chance for Eliza, Henry and me to get to know different families better. Not to mention, Eliza has LOVED the quality friend time. With the craziness that's been our pre-school teaching/helping schedule, there are days when I've felt like I'm a chicken running around without her head.
As my sister kindly pointed out to me today on the phone, I'm lucky to be in a position to help. A month ago, I was the one sick in bed struggling to care for my kids. Someday, I'll be the one in need of a sitter so I can make it to an appointment with the O.B. (I'm not pregnant, this is not an announcement, we're not close to making an announcement, etc)
You have to fill the role of that family member who doesn't live here. You have to be one that assures a concerned Grandmother that you'll help take care of her grandchild. You have to be that friend who tells their newly moved in Ward member that you'll lovingly take care of her kids when she goes into labor no matter the time of day or situation. Because in a matter of seconds things can change and you'll be the one looking for someone with jumper cables to start your car.
Fresh from that conversation with my sister and having had a quiet morning, I was looking forward to another afternoon with the Roger's children. I'm glad that the car decided to quit prior to this outing as opposed to a planned shopping excursion to Target. Because we all know how awesome it would have been to hear from your frugally cute husband that it was a sign from the heavens to avoid Target all together (*gasp* now that would have been a tragedy.).
Lesson learned: I'd rather be the helper than the help-ee. But when the roles are reversed, suck it up and ask for help.