By: Anne Marie Holloway
His crooked smile gleamed as his big brown eyes held a steady gaze on mine in the rear view mirror of the mini-van.
I had been caught – no doubt about it – and had some quick explaining to do…
It started off as a wonderful poolside visit from my dear friend and her two children. We swam, laughed, ate sprinkle-dipped ice cream cones and swapped stories.
It was a picturesque scene of summertime fun and I, mother and host of the year, was feeling happy about our day…
Until we decided to head to the library…
We thought it would be a great ending to our day if we were to attend the end of the public library’s Summer Reading Program Event here in our hometown. It was to be a magic show. And not just any magic show. This performer was one I have had the enjoyment of viewing countless times. This magician was not only entertainment for the kiddos, but for the adults as well – a rare gem!
Anyways, we got out of the pool and got ready to leave in the usual format. My younger children crying about their lost shoes that the other must have misplaced on them. The big kids trying to plan the two car-load seating arrangements – who was going to sit with who in what car… And me and my momma friend tiredly smiling at each other and shrugging, knowing someone was not going to be happy about something.
After final negotiations were made and it was decided that the girls would go in one car with my friend and the boys would go in my car with me, we quickly loaded up the gang and began our journey to the library.
The boys were wonderfully behaved and chatting. I smiled at how big they all were getting, long and gangly.
Then it happened. I pulled out onto the main road and almost got side swiped by a small, much-too-speedy sedan. I quickly pulled the wheel to the right and swerved to avoid getting us into a fender bender, and I said it….
It came out of my mouth in slow motion in that weird voice like in the movie A Christmas Story, when the little boy Ralphie says a word that gets him in the worst trouble – a word that is denoted as him saying “Fudge” in the film.
Thank goodness I did not use THAT word!
Still – I felt equally as guilty and I sighed as I made a mental note to keep a bar of soap handy when driving in the car.
It is seconds later before I process what I had done. With my shoulders up to my ears, I cringed. I decided to remain quiet for just a brief moment. I hoped that maybe my friend’s son did not hear what I had just let slip out of my perfect role model lips…
I can feel my own son’s eyes boring into the back of my head. My 8 year old says, “Ahh, Mom???”
I close my eyes in disbelief. My own flesh and blood confirms my indiscretion to the others in the minivan. Nothing like throwing good ol’ Mom under the bus…
I decide it is probably best that I don’t keep my eyes closed at this point (since I was driving) and I cautiously look into the rear view mirror to see this beautifully handsome smile. He is shaking his head a little, but not to scorn me or to let me know that I will have to help fund his therapy bills in the years ahead. He looks at me with an expression of forgiveness and wisdom.
And my little curly haired, brown eyed friend offers me some solid advice, “You know Mrs. Holloway, in our house we just say this… (Insert long pause – followed by the biggest grin one could ever imagine)
“Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhh it’s around the corner!!”
And with that I almost drove off the road and crashed into a tree…