You know those holidays that end up being the extra-memorable ones? Not necessarily for a good reason (though it can be).
Remember that Christmas that you got exactly what you wanted, and announced “Mama! Dreams really do come true!”?
Remember that Halloween when you dressed up as bacon and totally stole the show?
Our Fourth of July “remember,” up until now, has been remember the year boy threw up that hot dog at midnight? (Totally my fault–I insisted he get some protein in him before he gorged himself on desserts. I guess the desserts might have had something to do with it, too.)
We nearly had a new one: Remember the Fourth of July we got locked out of the house?
It started weeks ago, with me driving home from the Mazda dealership after having some recall work done. About halfway home on the peaceful, quiet, kid-free drive, I realized with a jolt that the garage door opener wasn’t where it usually sat. I wasn’t worried yet–just figured they’d thrown it in the glove compartment or cubby between the seats.
Nope. Once I got home (and had my husband open the garage door) I did a thorough search. It was officially nowhere. Nowhere.
I called the dealership, and after some conferring amongst themselves, they came to the conclusion that it had probably fallen into the center console. It was, literally, IN my car, unreachable until we took it back in so they could retrieve it. Did I want to schedule an appointment?
Ahem. No. The car left town the next day, and the opener was unnecessary, while I trucked my kids around in my husband’s car. Home a few days and then he left again–with a different kid–and again, the opener wasn’t even missed.
Then the car did come home to stay, and we developed a kind of do-si-do dance when leaving the house: open both doors, drive my car out one, have a passenger put down my door while leaving out the other, then using my husband’s garage door opener to close his door. Ridiculous, right? But we did it for days, since I hadn’t yet gotten the car in.
Then it’s the Fourth of July. The lawn chairs are loaded, treats are loaded, the kids are loaded, and we’re finally ready to drive to fireworks. My husband pulls the car out and my son offers to put down the garage door–he enjoys showing off his mad skills at avoiding the trigger that makes the door bounce back up. So instead of having the second door open, he simply runs out the first (as it rolls down threateningly, Indiana Jones boulder-style).
And then we realize we don’t have the other garage door opener.
Nor do we have any keys to the house (because, after all, who carries keys to the house? We always go in the garage.). Ugh.
My husband and I discuss our possibilities (admittedly few). Are we going to break a window? We’re not calling a locksmith after hours AND on a holiday. Call my parents? Not on the Fourth–they’re busy with friends.
My husband and son took a tour around the house, testing windows (yep, they’re locked) and trying to establish which would be easiest to break and get someone into (we discovered those aren’t necessarily the same thing). I hugged my 11-year-old, who was tearing up at the disaster the night was turning into, and encouraged the youngest to go catch fireflies while we waited. Did I mention ugh?
The guys came back with information I pretty much knew already: that this really wasn’t going to be pretty. I was sitting sideways in the passenger side of my car with the door open, overwhelmingly frustrated, knowing that it was so ridiculous that the stupid opener was right here and yet wasn’t.
Then my frustration turned to irritation (it’s right here, for crying out loud!) and I remembered that the panel under the glove compartment was kind of loose from the work they’d done. So I yanked it off all the way and did a quick scan. Not there.
Then–as a testament to how completely fed up I really was–I felt around the edges of the trim on the center console and found an spot to grab on, and ripped the panel off the console, Mama-Hulk style. (I think the kids were slightly horrified at this point. My husband knew exactly what was going on.)
Inside the console was an abyss of wires and darkness, but the flashlight on my phone revealed exactly what I came for: there was the garage door opener. Disaster averted. Evening back on track. And now we didn’t have to go back to the dealership. 😉
There was a very loud victory dance in the driveway–the kids really were horrified at that. But we turned the memory from “Remember the Fourth when we got locked out?” to “Remember the Fourth when Mom ripped her car apart?” I’ll take it.