I don’t remember my life being as filled with Drama as the kids today. Again it could be because I had three kids to take care of and a house to run by the time I was 27 so the only drama in my life came from the soap , Days of Our Lives. But it seems that every time I talk to one of my kids, or my friends tell me about their kids, there is always some kind of drama. It could be as simple as being slighted about a party invite or as important as a job change. I don’t remember calling my Mom or Dad about life changes, but it seems the generation we raised comes to us for guidance on so many issues.
The older I get the less I enjoy those moments. I worry that if I help them make a decision it will be the wrong one and I’ll feel guilty for my part. Now it could be that when I was twenty-two, my husband and I moved twelve hundred miles away from family and friends. We had only each other to depend on. There was no one to run to when we needed to make the big decisions. I don’t remember dwelling on decisions for too long. It was called life and one was just a passenger on the ride.
“What do you mean you’re pregnant?” One of life’s better surprises.
“What do you mean you overdrew the checking account?” So began the years of Wendy being banned from the checkbook.
“Why are the lights out? What do you mean you forgot to pay the bill?” Seriously the bill and check are lying right there but I was out of stamps.
“You shot a rod in your engine? How about putting oil in the car once in a while?”
One of my all time favorites, phone rings and I hear my husband’s voice on the phone, “Honey, I’m going to be a little late.”
I hear women screaming in the background, “It’s going to blow.”
“What’s going on?” I said, more than a little concerned by the screaming women.
“Your car is on fire in the parking lot.” My husband said, so matter-of-factly that the words didn’t match the situation
“Listen I got to go, the fire department’s here.” A dial tone starts buzzing an obvious sign he’s left me hanging to tend to more pressing matters.
I get the story later. My husband was driving my car that day as I took the good car to haul the kids for their annual Doctors appointment. He was driving home from work when the car started smoking, so he pulled in to a Denny’s parking lot. He went in to use the payphone, (again we were around before cells) and when he glanced around the restaurant, customers and staff alike were diving behind counters and under tables. One woman was pointing out the front window and when my husband turned he saw flames shooting out from under the hood of our car. Thus the phone call and visit from the fire dept. The car was totaled and the insurance company gave us twelve hundred dollars. We thought we were loaded until we starting looking for a new car. Let’s just say we were a one car family for quite a while.
During these trying times I came up with a policy I still live by today. If the problem is something I’ll still be dealing with in say a year, it’s a real problem. But on the other hand if it’s something that I won’t even remember in a year, then it needs to be tucked away nicely in that chest in the attic. There it will become one of those random stories we occasionally take out and tell to the children to prove that no matter how bad things get life goes on.