Friday afternoon, my mom came down to pick up the kids and take them to her house for the weekend. Chris and I were overworked, overstressed, and in need of some down time with absolutely zero responsibility – including our children. Nana to the rescue!
As they were packing up to leave, we were all standing out in my front yard while Chris strapped their car seats into Nana’s van. Mom and I were talking, Gracie was crawling around inside the van with Chris, and Bean was playing with a stick in the yard.
Now, I didn’t actually see “The Crime” happen, but it wasn’t too hard to figure out.
One minute Bean was waving a stick. The next minute a shiny, new BMW was driving by. There was a loud “whack” sound. Bean’s stick was no longer in his hands, and his eyes were as big as saucers. And the BMW came to a screeching halt in the middle of the street right in front of my house.
Immediately, I whipped around to Bean.
“Did you throw a stick at that car, Michael?” I asked sharply.
There was no response, but Bean’s head fell down instantly, chin to chest.
“Michael, did you hit that car with your stick?” I said again, walking over to him and getting down to his eye level. “Answer me, please.”
There wasn’t an answer this time either, but he nodded almost imperceptibly. Yes, he had thrown the stick at the car.
At this point, the driver got out of his car. Thankfully, he was a young high school aged kid and I’m almost positive he was taking his parents’ car out for a spin. He stood next to his car and shouted over to us, “Is everyone okay?”
“Yes,” I said, taking Michael by the hand. “But I’m glad you stopped because Michael would like to tell you something.”
The kid walked over to where Michael was standing. “Michael, what do you say?” I prompted.
“I’m sawy,” Bean said.
“Sorry for what?” I pushed.
“I’m sawy I threw a stick at your car,” he said, head hung low.
The really nice kid tried to hide a smile and said, “It’s alright.”
I checked with him to make sure there was no damage to his car (thank goodness there was none!), and the guy said the only reason he even stopped was because he had seen the kids playing in the yard and then he heard the “whack” and he wanted to make sure he hadn’t hurt anyone as he drove by. Such a nice guy.
He left, and I walked back over to Bean and got down on his level.
“Why don’t we throw sticks, Michael?” I asked.
“Because we can hurt people,” Bean recited. This was a familiar conversation in our house…
“That’s right, but we can also hurt things, like cars. No throwing sticks at all, Michael. Do you understand?”
“Yes, ma’am,” he said.
“But you know what?” I said, pulling him into a big hug. “I’m really proud of you for apologizing. That’s a good boy to say you’re sorry when you make a mistake.”
And then he jumped into Nana’s car and off he went.
Chris and I stood there for a minute after the van pulled away.
“Well, that was a first,” I told him.
“Yeah,” he said, turning to head inside. “But I’m sure it won’t be the last!”
I thought for a minute and my mind flashed back to being 16 years old. Chris called me and asked me to come over to hang out at his house for a while, so I climbed in my car and drove over. I had barely pulled into the driveway before Chris and about 5 of his friends let out this massive war cry and all started shooting bottle rockets at my car from their hiding spots in the bushes and even on the roof of his house.
I didn’t even get out of my car. I just backed out of his driveway and left, thinking to myself, “Why am I dating this kid????”
Miraculously, I somehow ended up marrying that kid. And then I birthed his child. And if history sometimes repeats itself, then, Lord, help us all!