Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Oops: Reason #5,362 I Married Josh

This morning, I conceded to Josh that I am a terrible driver--at least according to his definition.

We've been having this argument for years.  He says I'm a bad driver.  I say I'm not.  My definition of a terrible driver is someone who regularly endangers the lives of other people through reckless or careless driving.  This I do not do.  His definition of a terrible driver is someone who regularly bumps into things.  Depending on how one understands "regularly," I may qualify here.

I would have argued against my qualification for this title before this morning.  But I no longer have that freedom.   This morning, I sealed my epithet by "bumping into" my garage door.  From inside the garage.  Apparently, one must wait until the door is all the way up before reversing out of the garage.  I chose to attempt my exit when the door was about halfway up.

No, really.

And you should have heard the barrage of questions from the back seat when it happened:

Me: "Oh no."
Peanut Gallery: "Mommy, what happened?"
Me: "I backed into the garage door."
Peanut Gallery: "Why?"
Me: "It was an accident.  I didn't realize the door wasn't all the way up."
Peanut Gallery: "Why?"
Me: "I don't know."
Peanut Gallery: "Is the garage door broken?"
(Pause as I push the button to see if the door moves)
Me: "No.  It still goes up and down, fortunately."
Peanut Gallery: "Did it hurt the car?"
Me: "Probably.  I'll have to go check."
(Brief interlude while I survey the damage)
Me: "It did scratch the car a little."
Peanut Gallery: "But why did you bump into the garage door?"

Ad infinitum.

It was stupid.  Stupid, stupid, stupid.  I often wait until we're all in the car to put the garage door up so the kids don't freeze in our cold Colorado air while getting in.  Typically, I buckle Abby in, get in myself, and push the garage door button as Ben's buckling.  By the time he's done, the door is up.  Then, like any normal person, I turn on the car and back out.  I've done it hundreds of times.  This morning, however, I got distracted and accelerated the routine, to my utter embarrassment.

Josh called to check-in on our morning as we drove out of the neighborhood to Ben's school.  This is when I humbly and sincerely acknowledged that I'm a terrible driver as a prelude to my mortifying story.  With great chagrin, I shared my "incident" in the garage.

Here's what I love about my dear, dear husband.  When I told him I had actually managed to back into the garage door, he chuckled in an I'm-not surprised-because-I-know-you-too-well kind of way, very calmly asked me about the damage, and then said with all sincerity, "I'm sorry."  There was no exasperation, no lecture, no rant or rave about the cost of repairs or the obvious lunacy of my mistake.  We both knew I screwed up.  We both knew I made a giant mistake.  The consequence of my error was punishment enough, and he was there with humor and empathy to help me endure the humiliation.

I love this man.

This is how we desire to raise our kids, though, admittedly, I'm not as accomplished at extending grace as Josh is (yet).  Life teaches hard lessons; there's no need for us as parents to rub it in.  Instead, we can receive our little loves with empathy and a bit of humor, acknowledging their error without judgement as they feel the pain of their consequences.

What Josh communicated to me this morning is a basic belief in my goodness as a person.  He affirmed that I am far more valuable to him than a car or a garage door.  I married the right man, without question.

Abby and I returned home to play after dropping Ben off at school.  When the time came to get back in the car to pick him up a few hours later, Abby said emphatically, "Mama, dohn forgeht to open duh door!  We dohn wahn to bump it a-gaihn."  Thanks, Abby.  I'm sure I will never leave the garage again without checking my mirror at least a half dozen times.

We live.  We learn.  We grow.  And if we're fortunate, we do so in the presence of Grace.  Thanks, Amor.


  1. good story! This made me smile. :)

  2. Your sweet understanding husband sounds a bit like my sweet husband - John will tease me about stuff, but when something serious happens, he is completely supportive and understanding. He always reminds me that we can repair or replace THINGS, and as long as no one was hurt, everything is ultimately OK.

  3. Priceless...love it :) I have almost done that....more than once.

  4. Thanks, Sara! I'll admit it still makes me laugh when I think about it--it was just so ridiculous!

    Julie, Your husband sounds wonderful, too. He's right: things are replaceable (though we'd rather spend our money on other things!). They're not worth damaging a relationship.

    And I'm glad to know I'm not the only one that distracted at times, Alisha. Josh's dad reminded me that a certain woman he loves had a similar "run-in"--makes me feel better to know I'm in good, generally responsible company!


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