Monday, February 8, 2010

Mr. Incredible (Finally!) Levels the Field

This is a story of two families:
Eleven years ago (Once upon a time, a long time ago, before cell phones and email . . .do you remember that far back?), these two families each had three children, girls that were in second grade, boys that were in first grade, and boys that were toddlers. These two families also had moms that were best friends who not only enjoyed park time and scrapbook Fridays, but they also enjoyed a little time to themselves. So a swap was arranged--Jen would take the kids all day (8:30-4:30) one day during the week, and Karen would take another day. It was a fantastic arrangement for all--kids got play dates with their best friends and moms got a whole day of freedom--for FREE.

It was all going swimmingly. And had for a few years, without any complaint or complication. Until the oldest child, Miss Brenn, turned eight years old and began Achievement Days after school. She was most excited to leave school with "the big girls" and walk straight to the Clays' house for fun and creativity. Unfortunately, Ken (aka Mr. Incredible for some unknown reason), neglected to get the information to me.

Three of the kids made it to my house after school, but there was no Brenn. Heidi told me that she couldn't find Brenn after school, even after looking for some time. The walk home from school took about 25 minutes anyway, so by the time they'd reached our house, Brenn had been missing for half an hour. I jumped into the car (a 1989 Dodge Colt Vista, if you remember those!), sped to the school and looked for her. And looked for her. She was nowhere to be found. I called Karen's house, but she wasn't due home for at least a half-hour, and I don't think I had Ken's work number. I was in a complete panic by this time, and so were all the kids. I was leaving the school and just as I was about to call the police, 45 minutes since school had dismissed, Karen drove into her driveway. How do you tell your best friend that you've lost her kid? She could see the panic in my face, I'm sure, as I told her that her daughter was gone. She became a little worried, but she said that she'd go into the house and call Ken at work to make sure he didn't know where she was. Lucky thing, or the whole Missing Children's Department of the City of Mesa would have descended on our neighborhood. She called, explained the situation, and he nonchalantly said, "Oh yeah. They called this morning before school, and Brenn is at Achievement Days."
Is that all?
All these years later, and Karen still reminds Ken that he owes me big for that one. Even though he has called me "Octo-Mom" (in a good way, he says), and insists that I am older than he is because every childbirth ages a woman five years (I'm doing pretty well for a woman of eighty, don't you think?), that debt has hung in the air.

Until Saturday night.
You see, Saturday night Lily had her cast party for "Twelve Dancing Princesses." Brad was flying home from visiting his mom (still in the air), Tucker was at a friend's house, and Ben was home with the three little kids. Instead of taking my reliable Suburban, I decided to take Brad's little Audi TT, just for fun. And it ended up not being so fun. I mistook a designer cobblestone curb for more street, you see, and I hit it in that little Audi TT going about 40 mph. Guess what? Audi TT tires POP at forty mph when they hit a curb. And they lose all their rubber. And they stink. And they even sometimes get their rims dented from the impact. I'm just sayin'.
What could I do? It was me and Lily, 9 pm, no husband. And it's a GERMAN car. I've actually changed my Suburban's tire (not to mention that my Chevy could have handled just such a situation easily), but this car . . . . no way. So who do I call? I dial Karen's house, Ken answers the phone, and I ask for Karen (who was thumb-deep in Mario). She, as always, drops what she's doing, piles herself and Ken in their truck and they come to rescue us. The situation was slightly complicated by the fact that I had a baby at home that any moment was going to realize that her belly was empty and that her mom was not around.
So, not only did Ken stay at the stranded car, Karen brought me and Lily home so I could tend to Eve. I did feel a little better that Ken had a hard time figuring out that cursed GERMAN car, too. Something about plastic lug nut covers and special tweezers to remove them . . . I don't know. I put it all out of my head as soon as I was cuddled up with my sweet daughter. Brad landed and was able to explain to Ken how the crazy vehicle could be rendered operable again. And Ken, Mr. Incredible himself, drove it back, safe and sound, to our garage.

Ken has promised to never let me lose one of his kids again.
Wish I could promise to never blow a tire again.
Now, we're even.
And you can check out Karen's blog here.



  1. Look where you're driving, woman. I'm just sayin".

  2. Bahahaha. I"m pretty sure that is the only Achievement Day lesson I actually remember!

  3. Love BOTH stories. Aren't these old friendships wonderful? There's just nothing like them.


  4. Love both stories! Just found your blog and loving your big beautiful family!

  5. I may or may not have laughed OUT LOUD at the explanation of what happens to tires when rammed into curbs at 40 mph. The visual of the whole evening, priceless! Sorry that happened, what a pain. Thank goodness for Mr. Incredible!

  6. I am laughing out loud big time!! So much ha happened in the last 13 years. I am truly greatful you are my friend.

  7. PS. I cannot spell. But since you know me you already know that!