How Not to Drive the Grandchildren Home from the Singing Christmas Trees
At the end of Part 1, you may recall, all seemed to be well. The three little girls and I had finally arrived home (one hour after leaving the church). We ate supper and were watching a movie when . . .
Mommy turned her phone back on and called to say that the concert was running longer than expected and could I please take the children home and put them to bed. I was still nerve-wracked to the bone, but food had helped, so I only twinged slightly at the thought of putting the girls back in the car and driving three blocks.
I loaded everyone back into the SUV and arrived at their gated community a few minutes later. I reached for the gate clicker I assumed was on the visor, and . . . oh-oh. No, the girls didn’t know where mama stashed the clicker, but they assured me I could punch in a code. Alas, I had to tell them that the code only worked until six p.m. After that, you have to have a clicker or someone has to be at the house to buzz you in. ( I recalled one memorable evening when my son-in-law climbed the gate, all eight feet of it, at 1:00 a.m.)
“We can go in your car, Gramma,” said the girls. So we turned around and headed back to my house. But as I headed back toward my house, it occurred to me that if I drove my car, we wouldn’t have the built-in garage-door opener on the SUV. Without which I’d need a key to my daughter’s house. And it seems that I no sooner have a key made than my daughter sends someone to borrow it. So if I drove the girls’ home in my car, we could get through the gate but might not be able to get into the house.
Believe me, at this point if I hadn’t already decided I had a few thousands words to say to my daughter when she got home, this would have been the final straw.
We pulled into my driveway and the 6-year-old said, “Gramma, why don’t you get the clicker from your car?” I sat there behind the wheel and gaped. Out of the mouths of babes! I told the girls to stay put, went back into my house, pulled the gate clicker off my visor, and back we went to my daughter’s house. Didn’t use the garage opener, after all, as the 7-year-old was gung-ho to try every key on my ring to see if she could open the front door. Which she did while the rest of us stayed in the car and watched.
She yelled for us to come in, and then proceeded to turn on the Christmas tree and the many other Christmas lights throughout the house so I could see them. Special moment after all we’d been through.
When my daughter and her husband finally got home, the girls were in bed, their halos still shiny, and I laid out the whole tale, woe by woe. My daughter looked at me and said, “Oh, I’ve been using the hand brake because the car keeps getting stuck in Park.” Not that she’d told me that any more than she mentioned there was no gas. I had, of course, been putting the car in Park all night. Sigh.
I’m not sure I’m going to the Singing Trees next year. The memories of 2010 may haunt me forever.
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