Some mornings, I am soooo in automatic, and because I'm sick, it's worse. So, I got up, got the kids up, made their lunches, kept pushing them to get dressed ("No, Impossible Son, you may NOT wear those pants because one, they are way too short and two, if you button them, you may not be able to actually INHALE anymore without serious internal injury..."), made sure all papers were signed, all projects were in hand, all shoes were found... in other words, all the mom-stuff I do because...well... I'm the one stuck with the job. And yes, I was the one doing it because I AM the Mom and Mom's are not allowed to be sick. At least, not until the kids are at school.
So, I made sure the Impertinent Daughter's classroom agenda was signed, and I made sure the Impossible Son had his Big Bag of Popcorn for the Thanksgiving feast his kindergarten class is going to have, and forced my fevered brain to remember which way to go to get to the school.
I got them signed in, and helped Mr. Manzie carry the popcorn (which was in a bag bigger than he was) to his class, and when I left, I was on auto-pilot. Y'all know how that is, right?
So, I walked to my mini-van, unlocked the door (I'm a city girl, you BET I lock my doors when I get out of the car! and when I get in, too!) and got in, buckled the seatbelt, started up the engine, looked up, and my first thought was, "Who the hell stuck a Virgin Mary to my dashboard? And why does my car reek of patchouli?"
Yeah, I can hear you all laughing from here.
Anyhow, that sort of popped me out of auto-pilot and I looked around. My next thought was, "Holy Mackinoly, I've been hit by a thief who cleans your car, steals your CD's, and puts Catholic icons on your dashboard." Because Mr. Manzie's Tonka dump truck, and two other toy cars were no longer on the floor in front of the front passenger seat, sharing space with a large bin of half-melted crayons, and a soccer-ball. And the Husbandly One's soccer association i.d. was no longer hanging from the rearview mirror, nor was the Texas State Parks pass, and the Kid Mirror was now purple instead of black. And there was a small pink flamingo dangling from the mirror. I looked down at the table between the front seats where I had put my purse, which was gone. And I looked behind me. The Impossible Son's booster seat was gone, as was the Impertinent Daughter's inevitable sheaf of drawing paper. I turned to face forward again. OMG, I thought... I'm in the Twilight Zone. That or my fever is REALLY high, and I'm hallucinating.
Then common sense kicked in and I looked around the parking lot. Gee, that red minivan three places down looked awfully familiar, with the big soccer ball sticker on the back and the "Keep Austin Weird" bumper sticker below it, along with the other stickers we have there. I turned off the engine, and got out of the car. Somehow, I had come across one of those truly weird coincidences. Somewhere out there, folks, is a car the same make and model as yours, that your key will fit in, and you'll be able to start their engine. It happens. There may even be two. This isn't the first time this sort of thing has happened to me. I got out of the car, and looked at it. It was the same make and model as mine, same year. And the same color. I hadn't really looked up when I walked out into the parking lot, I had just headed for the red minivan. It's something I do when deep in thought. Or on automatic. I locked it back up, and walked back to MY minivan. What if I hadn't snapped to it? What if I had driven home, and only noticed everything when I went to pick up the kids? That made me fall apart laughing until I was weak. Oh, geez, can you IMAGINE the phone call the Husbandly One would have gotten? And what about the other person? Would they have just automatically gotten into MY minivan and sat down and thought,"Wait... this isn't my car!!"
Today can only get weirder.