Sitting at the JacMac.
When I was younger I enjoyed the little difficulties of life that made everyday tasks a little more complicated, or forced me to alter my routine. A little snow snarling roads would make a simple routine task of driving to work a challenge. Routing around a damaged bridge an enjoyable puzzle. Going about normal life without power, an adventure. Maybe my life was too simple then.
If you also enjoy making everyday tasks and routines more complicated or seemingly impossible, I invite you to try parenting. One of the beauties of parenting is that just when you think you have figured out, and you’re handling the challenges it’s throwing at you, you can increase the difficulty by adding additional children. You should be warned though, the difficulty does not increase in a proportional or logical manner.
Two children and two working parents is a daily logistical challenge. Before the day started today’s schedule already presented its share of challenges. Both kids need taking to different schools across town like any normal day, my wife has an early meeting, I have a 10:00 meeting away from the office. We both have 2:00 meetings and Franklin (my 6 year-old) needs to make a doctor’s appointment at 3:00. Then add on that Franklin has to get to taekwondo by 5:00 and my wife has to teach a class at 6:00. Sometime soon after 5:00 our little piglet one-year-old Vera needs to eat or risk turning into the devil.
So, walking out of the house this morning and seeing a flat tire on my car was just the type of challenge twenty year-old Scott would have enjoyed. Thirty-eight year-old Scott on the other hand, not so much.
Fortunately, it was low the night before, and I topped it up so it was not a complete surprise. Also fortunately, I’d used hanging crown molding in the nursery as an excuse to buy an air compressor a couple years ago. Unfortunately, this tire was not low, it was flat.
After we got everyone ready for school and my wife packed everyone’s lunches (and Vera’s dinner), we sprang into action. My wife loaded the kids into her car to do drop off duty while I fired up the compressor I’d been smart enough to get ready the night before. I filled up my tire and hopped into the car. I headed downtown hopeful I just needed a plug.
I’m not a patient person. I’m especially not a patient person sitting in traffic. I did not enjoy sitting in traffic while watching the PSI on the tire I just filled steadily drop as time ticked by. Now, as I sit safely at the tire store, I can see how 20 year old Scott might have seen it like the time of a video game level ticking away. Creating a fake since of panic to induce a thrill. I don’t need a fake since of panic, I have enough anxiety, I need my tire fixed, preferably cheaply and quickly.
When Franklin was a toddler and went to school around the corner from my office, I’d call out to him each road we turned on, or when we passed a major land mark.
“Going over the dam.”
“Crossing the river.”
“Turning on 21st Avenue.”
We always turned from 21st Avenue onto 9th Street where the JacMac tire store sits on the corner. The JacMac looks like it was plucked straight out of 1968 an placed on that corner, or at least it does in my mind. When we’d turn onto 9th street I’d sing to Franklin in jingle fashion, “Turning by the JacMac!”
I now take the same route with Vera and I sing daily to her, “Turning by the JacMac!” Neither of them has ever seemed to care much about my keeping them informed, but Franklin does have an amazing sense of direction.
As I sit in the JacMac writing this, hoping for a cheap, quick fix to my tire, hoping that this is the last of life’s little challenges for today, a little jingle keeps running through my head,
“Sitting in the JacMac!”