I remembered at 8am that it was crazy hair day for Chase.
8am is crazy. I get him up, dressed, fed, and lunch packed in 35 minutes.
There’s no time for extras.
But I pulled some ninja shit and got him taken care of.
The last thing I was thinking about was my black and white and grateful challenges, or my blog, or anything but the here and now. It was go, go, go from that moment forward.
As I drove down the road to cash my petty cash check for work and knock out a couple things on my to do list, an alarm on my phone sounded.
Ahhh, I’d been smart and set a reminder.
Yes, I’m that person that sets reminders for silly things like Facebook photo challenges. Judge away.
In this photo I’m at the bank waiting for the teller to cash the check so I can go get office supplies. The alarm actually sounded while I was driving, however.
Today, I’m grateful for having a vehicle and a license.
You’ve read some of my posts (or maybe you haven’t) and know that I drove for a long time without a license.
Not some of my smarter years. That went on for like three or four years, seriously. I had a learners permit. But very rarely did I have someone over the age of 21 with me with a license. I could justify it a couple different ways. What it came down to was excuses because I was scared I would fail the exam. I was scared of the unknown. I was scared of the unknown, but not scared to lose my license before I even got it.
And I claim to be an intelligent woman. Ha!
And seriously. Everyone knew I didn’t have a license but someone signed for a car for me, and when I got that repoed, lots of my friends let me borrow their cars and let me drive them.
Yeah, I was really doing a good job at adulting. You don’t gotta tell me!
So that all came to a hault when Matt was born. Responsibility seemed to suddenly be ingrained in me with his birth.
I still didn’t get my license til I was 24 though.
When Matt’s dad and I went our separate ways in a less than amicable split, I found myself walking to work and bumming rides from coworkers to pick Matt up from daycare. Public transportation scared me, and taxis were expensive on a food service budget. This shit was not gonna cut it. I was still scared of the unknown. I was still scared of failing. But what I was more scared of failing at was raising my son. I could have continued to lean on his dad to get me around town, but I didn’t want to. I wanted to be free of him, and the only way to do that was become as independant as possible. So with the help and encouragement of some coworkers, I took my driving test. And I did fail it the first time. Parallel parking isn’t a strong point of mine, and doing it with a cop sitting next to me was scary as hell.
The second time around, I should have failed for the same reason. But when I hit that cone and tears welled in my eyes, the officer looked at me and quietly guided me out of the testing zone and on to the street.
“Lets go through the rest of the test and come back to this,” he suggested. “You’re just nervous.” And then as I drove, “You’re a good driver.” He said.
“I just can’t parallel park,” I responded, disappointed in myself.
“We’ll get through it,” he assured me. “Why don’t you have your license yet, anyway?” And so I told him about the circumstances that had led me to be a 24 year old with no license.
And that kind man taught me how to parallel park, and gave me my license.
When I tell you that I have been blessed in this crazy, fucked up life of mine, I do not say it lightly. He did me a helluva kindness that day, and changed my life for the better. And not just mine. Mine and my child’s.
I had to wait until taxes to get a vehicle, and bought a car from Matt’s dad. Which technically I had already bought once since it was our combined income tax check the year before that had bought it initially, but you do what you have to do. Christine had shot suspension and drank a quart of transmission fluid every two weeks, but she was my first legal vehicle and got us from point A to B and back again.
Once upon a time I walked everywhere. Once upon a time I had to bank and shop and work within a couple miles of where I lived because I couldn’t drive, and had a baby to contend with. I couldn’t accept a higher position in the company, or find a better job, because I couldn’t do any driving that the jobs may require. The license that was granted to me started my journey to a much better life for me and my children, and I am eternally thankful to the gentleman who took the time to listen to and understand me, and gave me this gift of independence. Its a plastic card with a horrible picture that has given me the world.