The toughest lessons in life are the ones you have to watch your children learn.
We had two such lessons in one eventful afternoon.
The first one was Pedro – who had detoured on the way home to check out a fire in the distance – and got a flat tire. Buddy and I were in the car with him so we had ring side seats.
He had changed many tires before, but he discovered quickly that changing a tire on the side of the road with a flimsy jack is quite different from changing a tire at home in the shop.
It took over 20 minutes and the help of a kind hearted stranger just to get the spare tire out.
That lame-brain engineer who decided it was a good idea to put a spare tire underneath a mini van should have to sit on the side of the road and watch his 16 year-old son try to get the rusty thing off.
It took another 20 minutes and another kind stranger with a hydraulic jack in the back of his hatchback (with the two dogs and lots of junk) to get the van up.
The National Guard even stopped by.
I should have sold tickets.
But he did it! An hour later, Pedro got the tire changed, passed his “man test” with just a scraped knuckle and his pride intact.
Meanwhile – twenty miles away – Dagmar was getting her own life lesson.
She and Angel Girl were running an errand in town and were in a fender bender.
I was sitting on the side of the road watching Pedro struggle to get the tire changed when she called.
“Hey – mom, we were kind of in an accident. But we’re okay. Not much damage – and the sheriff is on his way.”
Never a call you want to get.
My only thought was, “Call your dad!”
But he was back in the shop where there is no reception and never got the call.
Dagmar had to handle the entire thing herself.
And she did just fine.
My poor husband. He didn’t get my frantic call that we had a flat tire either.
Nope. He called me as he was leaving work and I got to ruin his day in one fell swoop.
Insurance forms. Body work. Two new tires.
Now that everyone’s home safely and the dust has settled I can hear the kids laughing upstairs and I know it’s time to count some blessings.
Nobody was hurt.
Nothing was damaged that can’t be fixed.
And our kids did good.
They handled themselves just as we would have wanted them to.
They’re gonna be just fine.
I can only hope their parents make it!