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How Something “Bad” Can Turn Things Around

February 21, 2012

It’s been a bit of a rough morning at the Novinger house.  John woke up way too early, especially for not having a nap yesterday at preschool.  There’s been lots of screaming and crying at our house–usually the two occurring simultaneously.  It was painful and I was wondering how in the world I was going to make it through the day.

Twenty minutes before it was time to leave for school, we got a phone call from our morning carpool driver.  His son wasn’t feeling good and he wasn’t able to take Madeleine to school this morning.  Thankfully, the night before, they had warned me this may be the case, so I was somewhat prepared to take Madeleine to school.  We were loading up the car, Isaac already in his seat, when I tried to start the car.  Dead.  As a doornail.  Wouldn’t even turn over.

This wasn’t totally a shock.  The battery was dead Sunday morning too, leaving us in a rushed mess trying to make jumper cables (we don’t own them because Curtis is MacGyver, you know).   Every time I drove yesterday I was nervous, because the car kept sounding like it didn’t really want to start, but it did.

Frantically, I had the kids put on their bike helmets.  John put on his Keen’s over his socks because we could only find one sneaker, and didn’t have time to look for the other.  Isaac was still in his pajamas without shoes or socks on (thankfully, it was a mild morning–probably in the low, low 50’s).  I pulled the bike and trailer out of the garage after discovering the air in one tire was low–but I didn’t have time to fix that.  I couldn’t find Madeleine’s lock anywhere.  We were fast running out of time and Madeleine assured me there were plenty of other bikes there that weren’t locked.

We took off down the street.  Madeleine was on her bike and John on his.  This was John’s first attempt at riding the mile to school.  There was one last stressful moment—the chain was sticking and for a brief moment I was scared the bike was unrideable.  After getting my fingers covered in grease, I got it fixed and we were on our way again.

We got to school with 2 minutes to spare.  Madeleine put her bike up and quickly walked into school.  John and I biked home together, with Isaac in the trailer.

Those 20 minutes of biking was absolutely fabulous.  It was the best moments of the morning by far.  John did awesome on his bike.  He kept up with Madeleine and I had to work to keep up with them (I am blaming that on pulling the trailer behind me).  They both rode very safely on the road and listened well about crossing the street.  John and I arrived home happy.  We made it.  We faced a challenge and succeeded.  We all stepped up to the challenge.  Plus, we got our blood moving and some nice morning air in our lungs.

If our car battery hadn’t been dead, the morning would have continued with how it started—me fussing at John,  John getting angry and screaming at me (with his eyes crossed of course).  Instead, we were granted a bit of a respite–a reminder of what the day can be.  Potential was unveiled.  I just need to step up to the challenge, pull on my positive attitude, fix my determination, and do it.

Then, I have to figure out how to get my car started so we can get a new battery.

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