Thursday, September 29, 2011

Rear View Mirror

One Sunday morning we were late to church. Oh wait, that's been every single Sunday for the last four years.

But something special happened on this morning.

Brian was driving and juggling listening to me analyze why he made us late and the kids screaming various demands and grievances in the back seat. He would reach back trying to reach Madison's pacifier and tell Silas something to the tune of "If you touch her one more time, you know what will happen!" as the car swerved slightly with all of his movements. I critiqued the morning's timeline and picked at my face in the mirror before my "we're late" ritual of putting on my makeup in the car. I think he was flinching his jaw and imagining scenes from "Throw Mama from the Train" with me replacing the character of "Mama" but I would have to verify that with him.

Brian tried the old futile method of achieving silence, turning the radio up. Way up. It didn't work. I joined his efforts and tried distracting the kids. I heard sirens in the distance and said Listen, there's a fire truck! They didn't care. I resumed my analyses and picking. A long while later I looked over at Brian and saw colored lights reflecting on his face.

I gasped when I saw the police car in my make-up mirror. "Oh no, we're being pulled over!" Then my heart sunk because I've come to learn the following law of nature: being late + being distracted = Brian speeding excessively. Kids, turn on the charm when he gets to the window.

Much to our surprise when Brian rolled down his window we heard through a loud speaker SLOWLY STEP OUT OF THE CAR AND PUT YOUR HANDS ON THE VEHICLE!

My jaw dropped as I watched Brian slowly exit the car and assume the position. More commands followed from the speaker. STEP TO THE BACK OF THE VEHICLE! Then the officer got out of the car. WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU ARE DOING SIR? Brian stared in confusion. He began screaming at Brian. The quiver and intensity in the officer's voice made it evident he was pretty shaken up. Then things became clear. I'VE BEEN CHASING YOU FOR MILES! WHY WOULDN'T YOU PULL OVER? I could hear Brian try to explain, My kids were screaming in the back seat and my rear view mirror was pointed down to - THERE IS NO REASON FOR ME TO HAVE TO FOLLOW YOU FOR THAT LONG WITH MY SIRENS AND LIGHTS ON! THERE'S NO EXCUSE!

I was thinking to myself, Actually, sir, there is a perfectly good reason and my husband just gave it to you. The radio was blaring and all mirrors were pointed at the children.

But thankfully my husband had more sense than me. He listened as the officer vented more feelings of flabbergast and then apologized repeatedly and agreed that there was no excuse.

Then I saw the officer head to my window. Keep in mind I wasn't feeling too sharp that morning. I was staring at his face, watching his eyes with hopes that he would look back, notice the kids in the back seat and have mercy. After waiting a while he raised his eyebrows as if to say "Hello?" and motioned for me to roll down my window. I jumped to it and saw him revel in the glory of my radiating picked-at, no make-up having face. He asked to see my driver's license (still trying to get to the bottom of why we were trying to run from him). I set the bowl of cereal I had in my lap on the floorboard then grimaced when I looked back and remembered Brian had packed the diaper bag. Fat chance he thought to grab my wallet.

I smiled sheepishly and started explaining. Well you see, my husband packed the diaper bag yadda yadda yadda. He didn't buy it. All I could think of was to offer to have him follow us back to our home and I would get it for him. From the back seat Silas fervently (and repeatedly) asked Why is the police man angry at Daddy?? Mommeeeeeeeeeeee, WHY?? 

After a few minutes of asking the same questions and getting the same answers the officer gave up. Maybe the kids worked their magic. Maybe it was Brian's humility. Most likely it was my stunning beauty but regardless, and much to our amazement, he let our little circus act off with a warning.

Laughter replaced the bickering and we were all smiles when we showed up before church ended.

Lesson learned:
You really should point your rear view mirror at the road, not on your darling little angels.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, that sounds like our drive to church every Sunday. Except, you know, the whole cops chasing you getting pulled over thing. But everything ELSE sounds strangely familiar...