Marissa Christine Rackley hails from El Campo, Texas where she learned to deal with masculine-juvenile humor by growing up with five brothers. And these are her stories:
First, something from last week...
I don’t know why, but for weeks I’d been excited about the H.E.B. in San Marcos opening a new car wash. I thought they just might give out discounts if you buy their gas. And since gas is always a need, and it had been a while since the van had had a good wash, I thought this would be a nice deal.
Sure enough, the car wash opened last week, and, as a grand opening special, H.E.B. offered three dollars off the wash with gas purchase. I noticed last Thursday the van needed a fill-up. Great! Here’s my opportunity to kill several birds with one stone. Aidan and I can go get a few groceries, fill up, and get a car wash before we go home. And that’s how it worked out. Sort of...
We get our groceries, Aidan gets his Buddy Bucks, and then we fill up. I purchased a car wash for four dollars instead of the usual seven. Good deal! Ah, and there’s no one in line at the wash. Perfect! Aidan, Baby, and I can get in and out and go eat lunch. I pulled up to the little kiosk where you pay for the wash. I’ve got my receipt out ready to punch in the code. I rolled down my window and started punching in numbers. Well, in my bliss, I forgot one important little detail about the van. In the last few months or so, the windows don’t necessarily go back up after they’ve been rolled down. Usually I remember to open the door instead of using the windows, but, for some reason, the thought never crossed my mind at that moment. And, it doesn’t happen all the time, making one liable to forget anyway.
This was one of those times. As the lights on the kiosk and the wash started flashing green and the voice told me to go, I realized the window wasn’t going back up. It’s half-way down, and it’s not going up!
Great! I do the trick of pushing the window button, waiting a few seconds, and doing it again. With each push of the button, the window only goes up maybe one-fourth of an inch. Nooooooo! I’m telling the window it will go up! I’m tugging at the top of it. I’m nearly yelling Scriptures. I’m pushing the button. Not a whole lot of progress. I looked over my shoulder to check Aidan, and he’s happily eating crackers. There’s no one behind me, so I could have backed up and left. But dang it, I paid our hard-earned money for this car wash, and I’m going to get it, by golly! Boy, did I!
I turned the car off and restarted it to see if that would help anything and tried pushing the button again. I did this a couple of times, and then I realized there was another car waiting in back of me. Great. Gotta go through. The window was finally two inches from the top. Well, maybe it would roll all the way up by the time I got inside the wash bay (insert laugh here).
I pulled forward and stopped when the little sign told me to, all the time complaining at the window and furiously pushing the button. All this was to no avail. The window stubbornly refused to budge at all. Then the soap sprayer started up. Poor Aidan! It was at that moment I discovered he was scared of car washes, because he started crying. “It’s O.K., baby!” I say, trying to sound calm when I’m ready to punch the silly window! Then the sprayer starts coming around the right side of the van. A quick thought of “at least it’s not starting on the left” crosses my mind. At this point I’m nearly pounding the button in panic and almost screaming that it will go up! I looked down and saw a plastic H.E.B. grocery sack. I quickly pulled it out from under the milk it had been holding, and when the sprayer came to my side of the car, I tried to follow the gush of soapy water with the bag to keep the water from coming in. It did keep me from getting totally soaked, though I thought the force of the water would break the bag. That’s O.K.! Several more bags in the car!
Poor Aidan! At this point he’s really crying, the rinse cycle’s starting up, and here comes the sprayer again, and Mommy’s got a poor excuse for protection! I’m yelling for God to help, and at one point, I’m saying, “God!? Are you listening to me right now??!!” Yep. I’m sure He was, and He was probably saying, “I told you not to use the window!”
Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, the dryers came on and the sign told me to drive forward. Aidan is screaming, so I don’t even bother taking my time with the dryers. As soon as I pulled out of the wash bay, I humored myself by pushing the window button one last time. Sure enough, the window goes all the way up without a hitch. I’m sure the van was laughing inside. I wanted to deck Murphy and shove his law through the stupid window. Yes, I’m irate at this point.
I looked back at Aidan, and he is completely silent. His eyes are as wide as silver dollars against his little red, tear-stained face. The whole left side of the car and me are completely wet. I’m trying to mop up water with pathetic tissues as I tell Aidan everything’s O.K. Not sure if he believed me at this point, but when he started talking about the cars, I knew he, at least, would be O.K. I’m too mad at the car at this point to know if I will be. I’m not even sure how clean the van got.
Of course, I can laugh about it now, but it took a few hours. I learned a couple of lessons that day:
- A.J. won't be made to go through car washes until he’s 30
- The cashier at H.E.B. was right: the car wash stinks!
Aidan and I made our sometimes usual trip to Story Time at the library in San Marcos this morning. Story Time is a neat little thing they have for babies and toddlers (and parents). They sing songs, read stories aloud (hey, what would “story time” be without it?), have some play time with toys, and do songs with motions with the librarian.
The lady that usually does Story Time wasn’t there today. There was a different lady today, and she really got Aidan’s attention. She must have not been much older than me. She was very pretty, had long hair, and was wearing a very cute outfit. You should have seen the smile on Aidan’s face! Don’t get me wrong. He likes the other lady, too, but this young woman really caught his eye.
Normally, he clings to my legs and makes me drag him during the “Little Red Wagon” song, where we all walk around in a circle and sing. This time, he held my hand and watched Miss Ashley the whole time, not really paying attention to the actions we did.
Next was time for everyone to sit down and listen to the two or three stories that are read aloud by the librarian. Aidan sat in my lap as usual, but this time with his friend that came for the first time today: Love-a-Lot, a pink Care Bear that he refused to let go of all morning. He’s already got the smile of fascination on his face. And, of all the stories in the world she could have read, Miss Ashley pulls out one of his favorite books ever for the first story: Guess How Much I Love You? Talk about making a little guy’s day! And it wasn’t the regular-sized story book. It was the big, gigantic-sized one you use in a classroom. Aidan must have been the only child in that room today that reads that book regularly because he was “stretching his arms out as wide as they could go” with the Nutbrown Hares before Miss Ashley asked the children to do that with her. He did the actions of the whole book and recognized the moon before the other kids had a chance.
She read a couple more books after that, then we sang, “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” with motions. The whole time, Aidan’s just smiling away at Miss Ashley. Next was play time, and Miss Ashley got all the toys out for the kids to play with: blocks, puzzles, dinosaurs, balls, etc. While the kids were playing, she went around giving them red heart stamps on their hands for Valentine’s Day.
Miss Ashley finally came around to where we were sitting and knelt down to talk to Aidan. “Would you like a stamp?” she asked, in her very sweet voice. Aidan’s jaw nearly hit the floor. He looked like he had just seen a celebrity supermodel! So I held out his hand, and she gave him a little red heart stamp. He’s been fascinated with it all day.
Play time was over, and we closed with “Ring Around the Rosey” and another circle song. Again, instead of clinging to me, Aidan watched Miss Ashley the whole time.
Afterward, we checked out new books (yay for Mom!), and then we walked back to the car together. Just Mommy carrying the baby in her tummy, holding the hand of a very cute little boy in shortall overalls, who was holding his little pink bear. Aidan, for some reason, was a little quieter than usual, but very smiley and very, very happy.
So, what say you, Reader Public? Let me know if I should feature this guest writer again; I'm sure the stories will be there for the telling. God bless!