Last winter my car failed to start several times. We had it towed once, made ill informed guesses as to what the problem might be but every time we went back to it, after a few hours, it would start right up. The fuel pump was recalled about the same time, it stopped not starting and we assumed that was the end of that. Until Wednesday. In the parking lot at school, with both kids in the car, in the freezing cold. Some nice guy tried to jump it to no avail so my fabulous SIL had to come fetch us - because my dear spouse had chosen That Day to have to leave town for work. When we got home, I'm not too proud to admit I had a moment. Or 20. I could go on about why this is Not A Good Time, including the most ironic - the AAA towing "come back we missed you" special offer sitting unaccepted in my bill box - but no need to keep whining. [Today that is. Did I call my mommy that night? Damn straight.]
But it all got sorted out. $288 and a diagnosis of a “quirky battery”. No tow bill because, again, it started right up four hours later (four hours after I needed it). It’s a 10 year old Volvo with about 130k miles - it should be good for at least another 100 miles and it’s supposed to be quirky. That's part of the Volvo charm (That and, you know, not letting you Die). You can only adjust the power seats after you turn it on and before you put it into gear. You occasionally have to turn the car off and back on to close the sunroof. [You might notice these charms are all dependent on the recently demised battery. I'm a genius.]. I'm all about quirky charm – or was, theoretically, till the car pool moms had to navigate around me, a ½ ton pick up, and a tangle of jumper cables in 32 degrees. But it could have been worse and I finally got it in for an overdue oil change.
I have to admit I'm a little embarrassed about the sniffly phone call. Not that I shouldn't be able to call mom on a bad day but it was, as it turned out, a temporarily stalled car. There have been worse phone calls. We lost Brennan. We had The Colic (seven months worth of calls). We had the Nursing Fail. And then, on my fourth special high risk you're-supposed-to-know-what-you're doing fancy ultrasound, they noticed my little girl's heart was less pump action and more water balloon sloshing. And just to make it a super awesome week her post-/pre-op eye appointment was this morning and we are confirmed for surgery, part deux (trois, if you count the ticker).
It really is Not A Good Time financially - for cars or surgical copays - but we have so very much to be thankful for - sometimes I need a kick in the mouth to squelch the woe is me drivel. We have a plethora of family we can call for help, car rides, and the occasional kleenex. I love my job - and am so very exceptionally friggin' LUCKY that they afford me the flexibility and autonomy that allows me take Friday off so I can spend 3 hours with a cranky baby in the eye surgeon's office. After taking Wednesday off. Just insane amounts of vacation time and (for me (only?) implicitly allowed) flex time. They will provide health insurance for adult dependent children. Think about that. We will never have to thumb thru the yellow pages looking for some quack who takes Medicaid to see my girl because he can't get any other patients. [This also means I will never be able to leave my job. Ever]. Spouse is newly employed doing something he's wanted for THIRTEEN years, if not since puberty. We have health insurance, happy & reasonably healthy kids (now, that is. The eye surgery is minor - her annual heart check up in January & given her activity level, I believe Little Miss Destructo is just fine). Our mortgage is current (nevermind the other bills). More to the point, we have a decent house in a safe neighborhood. Our various mechanical & electrical "applicants" (as Gigi says) are starting to show the signs of age, but that's a decision we made (alright, stumbled into backwards) 6 years ago when we went to one income. Not all our choices were good ones and ohmygodisthatpainfullyobviousnow but, seriously, these are first world problems. I'd list all the reasons we're better off here than, say, Haiti, but that would be a long @ss post. I read a lot of other blogs - there are worse things. I don't mean that in a schadenfreude-lich way, but I admittedly occasionally need a kick to keep things in perspective.
But in long rambling style, this is my point - one of the moms I read (hi cate!) just posted a link to the "Where's Molly" story. Parents had two kids, belatedly sent the one with special needs away. *Poof* Just gone. We have "not just the good fortune of time but also place". No one suggested my daughter be disappeared. She is loved and will have every advantage. She may not go to engineering school but she will live a full and productive life. She will not end up tied to a bed in an Eastern European mental asylum, like these kids. We have had excellent medical care, easy access to early intervention services, and in this country -battles over IEP specifics aside- she will be legally entitled to an education. Some people when they know about Brennan, and now my girl, think we might have gotten a raw deal. Occasionally, when my car breaks down, I go to the dark corners too. For a moment. We do not live there. We are fortunate. We are happy. Damn straight.
ed. links are acting up too! Hopefully they're working again.