Feeling the Burn

Man, I’ve been feeling the burn lately. Not sure if it’s because it’s the summer or because all my kids are getting a little older every day – old enough to produce more opinions and emotions than one human could possibly know what to do with. I’m often conflicted by not having a solution or answer to every thought and problem I hear expressed in a day. Though some sort of response is expected. It’s three brains against one. And sometimes mine just wants to say nothing.

Yesterday was an interesting day. We had a nice time reuniting with our neighbor friends who also just returned from a month long trip away. We had coffee and swam and laughed and caught up. All was good. Until around 7pm. I drove into the driveway with the kids after a parking lot dinner of Chik Fil A drive thru and was looking forward to bedtime. I was pulling one of my children out of the car. I closed the side door and looked up to see the other side door closed as a certain child pressed the lock button to all the van doors and slammed the last door open – shut. My stomach dropped as a i knew my purse, keys and phone were STILL IN THE CAR. And my spare (i.e., my husband) was in Chicago until the next day. I held it together. I didn’t toss the child into the lagoony-looking baby pool. I didn’t kick the wall or slam my head into the pavement. I didn’t even break the glass on the van or kick in the backdoor to get into my house. I just went to my neighbors and brought her in on my misery. She kindly walked over to stand in the mess of it with me and loaned me her phone. I was mostly speechless and feeling desperate, all the while knowing this was going to work itself out one way or another.

I called the local locksmith. He was on his way.

There was something about it being the END of the day. With my kids locked outside and my phone IN the car. I couldn’t even Instagram the situation. There was something about watching a man use some puffer instrument to puff open my window and use a glorified hanger to unlock my door that felt unsettling. Like, I saw right then and there how people break into cars. It’s not hard at all if you have the puffer instrument thing. As the car alarm BLARED while I blubbered over myself trying to even find where my keys were in the car, the tears started falling. Like a child who didn’t get candy or a parent who was just… tired. I balled. Like a baby. And to the guy charging me what we spend on a trip to the grocery store, I cried. I hate wasted money. It’s like getting a speeding ticket – you should be able to control these things!

But I can’t control my children. In fact, it’s more evident today than it was yesterday, that I can control my own actions but I can’t control others. And as I sniffed away tears and snot, I thanked the guy for saving the day and slowly walked the kids back into the house.

What’s the point? Who knows. Quite honestly, I never know what the point is of these kind of experiences. Except maybe to remind us that nothing is truly in our control. Ever. Nothing. It’s only grace that this was the first time this had happened. And grace that none of my kids were in the car (I would have broken the window). And grace that it was still daylight. And grace that my neighbor had a phone I could borrow. And grace that we had money to pay for it. And grace that we all woke up to live another day.

So, today we are more aware that it’s a good day if we get through it without locking ourselves out again. Our perspective is newer today. God’s grace is more profound to us today.

                                           This is how grace looks around here most days.

So, no point to this except to offer just a BIG HUG to anyone who is kinda feeling the burn. The summer burn. The life burn. The whatever burn. Big virtual hugs to you and whatever oddities you may face today. You are not alone!




5 thoughts on “Feeling the Burn

  1. Karen – I had two similar incidents with being locked out of my car with the kids and Nonna! They both were overwhelming and haunted me for days afterwards. I can attest from personal experience, the memory of those dreaded days went from horror to humor. Recounting them always starts like this, “Remember the day when we …” My favorite part of your story is you stayed strong, you took action, you called on your friend, you put your heads together and decided to call in an expert, and in no-time flat you were back in business. It just goes to show you, we all need each other. I hope your confidence is soaring!

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