Thursday, August 9, 2012

How a daddy saves the day PART TWO

There are a lot of ways I can tell this story. I can go with the facts, weepy gratitude, or even full blown comedy. As Ben said (he’d be Rescue Driver Number TWO), “I feel like I’m in a episode of some totally ridiculous sitcom like Seinfeld or Curb Your Enthusiasm.”

You and me both, Ben.

If you’re just catching up, feel free to check out PART ONE: How a mommy blogger copes. If your time is valuable, then just know a day that started like this:

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Suddenly found itself here:

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…and involved old string cheese, warm coke, 4 hours, and several near death experiences in the way of cliff side bathroom breaks.

Hard to believe that was only the beginning of the story!

It was also one of the best days of my life.

So we’re stuck, right? My shirtless husband had begun the hot decent back into town and nary a car has passed. “How does this make you feel?” I asked them –>

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“No,” I pause “Tell me how you really feel.”

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We were fine! Despite his golden opportunity to begin anew, I wasn’t really afraid of my man ditching us for a life free from wife nagging and child squalor. This last wedding anniversary was hard on me, travelling is hard for me, getting babysitters and then sort of feeling pressure to fill every moment with FUN and RELAXATION, no matter what, is tricky, too. In addition to that, no matter how hard I try to “fake it till I make it,” when depression that seems absent in the day begins to slip its cold tentacles under your skin at the end of every night, you will find yourself circling a holding pattern that gnaws at you. Just a little, but day after day.

When that man and I were behind the stalled car, our babies strapped inside, counting and pushing and desperately trying to move it up the incline and over the small hill that was preventing us from making progress by coasting down in neutral, there is not anywhere else I would have rather been. I have a partner by my side that I would still pick to be on a deserted island with. He would build me a shelter, install a shower and have tropical fruit before sundown.

No, I wasn’t swelling with love feelings right then, this isn’t teen fiction, and Hello? Stranded on a mountain? Glistening with sweat was as romantic as it got, but a switch was flipped. A crisis! I can totally do this. And a Jon. All I need is a Jon. So I serenaded him with 80’s movie soundtracks as he headed down the mountain and proceeded to ration out the meager picnic goodies and measure how much air conditioning we should use in case this one bad day was going to turn into two.

I wasn’t in control, I wasn’t in communication with the free world, and we were fine. And hours passed. I knew Jon was coming, was capable, and while I was relaxing with my “mommy blogger coping skills” he was frantically working on rescue. And then it arrived!!

…on foot.

I saw his uniform first and then the nametag all in caps “JAMES.” As they approach I feel my face split into huge grin although in my head I’m already thinking no way Triple A approves of him scaling the mountain for this reckless family of four! As I understand the story now, Jon literally jogged in 110 degree weather all the way into town until a good samaritan finally picked him up and drove him the last 1/2 mile delivering him to a phone. James met him at this small town gas station and after being skeptical of the rescue of the car, found out there were kids with me. Despite the cost of time and the risk to his truck, they were quickly headed up the winding road!

Until he couldn’t. He literally could not go more than a mile off the paved road before it was clear he would get stuck on the dirt portion of the drive, but instead of calling in back-up and moving on to another job? He joined Jon in hiking the last two miles!

After a slow four hours, the party at the top of the mountain was suddenly quite hoppin’! We began with even more engine revving and gear shifting, laying under cars, fiddling with things that clink and clank, and then the pushing began again. That small incline topped off with a gnarly dirt bump would NOT be conquered! And despite my bravado, my stunt driving leaves much to be desired and I was pretty sure if they kept putting me in charge of the steering and breaks while jumping in and out of a moving vehicle, I may actually get that untimely demise I was calculating earlier in the day.

So we slowly pulled the stroller out of the car, evaluated which of the children to bring with us (just kidding) and were about to begin the long decent down the mountain on foot…

…then suddenly from down the mountain this blessed sight appeared behind us:

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I don’t know the Jeep’s name, but it’s drivers name was Ben, and Ben had TOW ROPES!

Despite my stellar attitude and positive outlook thus far, when he said we could put the kids in his car for the drive down I broke down into a serious 15 second bawl baby. I can’t even imagine what my face looked like then, dirt covered and startled by my own tears, I’m so grateful everyone looked past what was possibly an unstable mother and continued to help us, because the next part of this? Got. CRAZY.

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Like, after we got the ropes attached two more jeeps appeared at the rear and since the AAA truck couldn’t turn around, the formerly barren road suddenly held a bizarre caravan consisting of FOUR Jeep’s led by one semi truck/flatbed tow truck REVERSING down the mountain.

No big deal, just Ben in his car and Jon in our car negotiating 340 degree turns down steep inclines only waiting when the air breaks on the tow truck went out, TWICE, and we were forced to discuss what kind of cranes could pull it off the mountain until finally…

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That’s right, WE MADE IT! The dopes in the other two jeeps were pretty mad they had to follow us and when they were finally able to squeeze past I was thankful again how lucky we were to gather this last minute hodge-podge team of awesome.

We spend untold amounts of money on this planet trying to amuse ourselves or make memories our kids will never forget, but I can tell you right now, no one in this family will ever forget this day. Adventure, the kindness of strangers, and a dad that pretends to look like this after running 12 miles in the hot sun:

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But actually only feels like this:

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In other news, the scale says I gained two pounds yesterday so next time I’m doing the running and Jon can stay up-top, be the roadside potty assistant,  and get fat.

THANKS BEN AND JAMES AND JON!!! Seriously.

4 comments:

Brookelyn said...

What a fabulous day and reminder that when all looks glum in regards to humankind that these things can still happen. So glad everything turns out, and I hope your car is ok as well!!

Jack Major said...

Did you blur that license plate!?!?

HAHAHA. That's all I did last night. Blur license plates...

This was funny!!

Aimee said...

Next time you take a "staycation" please remember the STAY part! I'm so glad you have the gift of being able to write a scary story with such humor. You're a mommy blogging hero!

Sharron said...

ha, great 2 part series and great pics! i already turned the very first one into my new desktop, awesome! next time, do what i do to get to mountain tops: ride a horse. a good one. like ever beloved Prince. nevertheless, nice save!