Sunday, July 11, 2010

Help Me! Your Dad is Going to Kill Me!

Help Me! Your Dad is Going to Kill Me!
Bev Smith
July 11, 2010

We used to drive a Toyota Previa van when all of the kids were still home. It was great! It was basically a tank compared to the sleek, car-like vans that are on the market today. It was big. It was reliable and it would take the wear and tear that you need a vehicle to take when you're hauling around a van full of your own kids plus their buddies to ballgames, school, sleepovers, etc.

One afternoon, I had been running errands and was returning home in the van. KT and Mikayla were with me. I had stopped at our mailbox on the side of the road before pulling into the driveway. This was not unusual. It was a semi-regular occurrence. One of the kids would just slide the van door open on the passenger side, check the mailbox, close the van door and I would then continue on into the driveway and garage. On this day, though the "pulling into the garage bit" didn't run quite as smoothly as it normally had.

Because the garage was such a short distance from the mailbox, Katie decided not to close the van door but just to leave it in the open position while I pulled into the garage. It was pushed completely back and latched into place. Not a big deal...normally...but this day must have not been one of those normal, average, run of the mill days at the Smith house. (Come to think of it, not many of our days were normal, average, run of the mill!)

As I pulled into the garage, the sliding door on the passenger side protruded just a bit farther than what I was accustomed to. I had pulled into that garage many, many times over the previous 10 or so years. I knew how to pull into the garage! I guess I had not pulled into the garage with the van door open before but that wasn't a big deal or so I thought. This time as I pulled into the garage, the van door caught on the corner of the garage door frame and as I continued to pull forward, the van door continued to slide toward the back of the van until it literally came sliding off of the van! Yes, that van door slid right off of the van and fell into the bushes beside the garage!  When I realized what had happened, I hopped out of the van, stood there looking at that van door on the ground just saying to myself over and over, "I cannot believe this. I cannot believe this! I CANNOT BELIEVE THIS!!!!!"

I frantically ran inside for help! Nathan, our oldest son and I both went back outside and headed straight toward the van door which was at that point laying on top of my flowers and bushes smashing them to smithereens! I began to try to think of possibilities. How are we going to get that door back on the van???!!! There was a van door on the ground, a tank van door on the ground, my tank van door on the ground! Nate was around 16 at this time and it could probably have been said that my oldest son and I had differing opinions on the matter. He was trying to convince me that it was just not gonna happen.  We were not going to be able to reattach that sliding van door - no how! I, on the other hand, was diligently trying to convince him that not only could we get the door reattached; we had to get it reattached or his dad, otherwise known as my sweet husband, WOULD KILL ME!

So, we went to work, together, picking up that zillion pound piece of metal off of the ground and moving it over to where the van was located in the garage. Picture in your mind a 42 year old woman and a 16 year old teen trying to do body work on a car and having absolutely no idea what we were doing.  That would have described us to a T! Why hadn't I encouraged Nathan to take that auto mechanics class at school????

We worked for some time trying to get the van door back on the track that it was designed to be on but after no glimmer of hope, my optimistic outlook began to fade. How on earth am I going to explain this to Tim?

Fast forward to 5:30 p.m. My sweet husband arrived home at his normal time and contrary to what some of you may be thinking, he didn't freak out. He, being the patient, loving person that he is did not have a cow. (Me? I had had enough cows for both of us!) He just went out into the garage and began trying to get the van door back on the van. After working on it for a while with no luck, Tim called a good friend of ours, Steve Cook, to see if he could come over and help. Steve, Marqueta and their kids lived just a few streets over from us and Steve was very much our "go-to" guy for a lot of stuff. Steve could do just about anything. Steve, graciously, agreed to come over and help. When he arrived and looked at the van door, he noticed that a piece of metal, a hinge, had been bent so he and Tim were trying to bend it back to its proper position with a hammer. They were hitting that hinge on the van door hard as it lay on the ground in my front yard.

I went out into the yard where Tim and Steve were so I could check on their progress. Steve, much to my disappointment said that he just didn't think they were going to be able to get the hinge bent back. Oh no! Steve said that the metal that the hinge was made from was so hard they they were having no luck bending it back into position.

What?  It won't bend?  You've got to be kidding me! That cannot be! So, thinking that I didn't have a thing in the world to lose, I asked Steve for the hammer! I started banging on that hinge with that hammer as hard as I could. I probably looked like a wild woman in my front yard slinging that hammer but that was the farthest thing from my mind.  I just knew that I didn't want to have the added expense of taking the van to an auto body shop. We just didn't need that! So, I banged and banged some more and that hinge began to bend. As a matter of fact, it bent  just enough so that Tim and Steve were able to slide the van door back on the track of the van.

Our wills, our determination can be very beneficial to us. We can determine in our minds to do something and our will in that matter can be so strong  that we will allow nothing to stop us from doing that!  When we lived in Denver, my pediatrician once told me that our will, our mind, our determination  can cause us to do things that we ordinarily wouldn't physically be able to do, like lift something very heavy off of a child who is in danger. Our will, our determination, our mind can at times, overcome insurmountable odds! Mine has not always done that but I surely am grateful that it did this time.

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