TITLE: Popping the Trunk
By Kathy Davidson
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Popping the Trunk
My son traveled with me daily as I made my way down two lane roads from the country to my job at a rural Christian school. On the way to my job each day, I dropped Jeff off at the home of his sitter. Jeff, as a toddler, wanted to see how things worked, loved cars, trucks, machinery in general, and hated to be buckled into his car seat.
One morning I was late. You working mothers can identify with the morning routine. Getting the baby up, dressed, breakfasted, gathering the baby bag with extra clothes, diapers, and the toys he wants to take. Then there’s the car seat to be put in the car with the all of his things. And don’t forget your things, purse, work bag, your lunch. Then to the car with a struggling toddler who wants to do it by “myself”. Jeff fussed about being in the back seat; he wanted to be in the front, even at this age he wanted to be in the center of the action. So this day in a rush and hurry, I give in and put him in the car seat in the front seat. At the time our family car was a 1980’s era Cadillac. It was a heavy car made with solid steel chassis and wide metal bumpers. To get into the trunk without the key, you opened the glove box and pushed a white button, which popped the trunk. That morning I popped the trunk to put in the various baby things and my personal items, closed the trunk, and jumped into the drivers’ seat, cranked the Caddie and we were on our way to the babysitters.
Now cruising along at about 50 mph, my mind is preoccupied with the day ahead. Jeff is quiet, I think he might be going to sleep, which is unlikely, he never was one to sleep. I failed to notice two things that morning, one that Jeff was unusually quiet, and two, that I had not closed the glove box completely. When I glance over to see why Jeff is so quiet, I see the glove box opened, and Jeff straining against the straps of the car seat for the white button. One hand on the steering wheel, morning traffic behind me, I reach for his hand. Too late! Pop, goes the trunk!
Have you ever been in a car going 50 mph and the trunk lid pops open! I guess it might be like those race cars that use parachutes to slow down. The car jerked reducing speed immediately, and I braked causing the lid to bounce up and down. Articles in the back seat flew to the floorboard. Jeff bounced forward and I think he may have been too scared to cry. I quickly pulled to the side of the road, praying that the lid was not bent or damaged, and that my articles in the trunk were not spread in front of the traffic behind me.
Jumping out of the car, I ran around to the back. All items still in the trunk, I closed the lid, hallelujah, not bent, no damage. Back in the car I look over to tell Jeff not to touch anything to see him laughing and straining for the button again. Out of the car again, I unbuckle Jeff still in the car seat, lug him to the back, struggle to get him in the back, buckle him in under his protest, “No, Mommy, want you!”, at the top of his lungs!
Back into the drivers’ seat and on the road again, nerves now on edge, fears about the trunk lid staying in place, when suddenly the comedy of the situation hits me. I began to laugh. What did the drivers that morning think? A crazy woman in a dress and heels running around to the trunk of her car that had just opened while she was doing 50 mph. Watching as she lugs a child car seat complete with child to the back seat, trying to be ladylike in her dress, but bending into the backseat door to buckle her screaming child into the seatbelt while morning commuters rubberneck her car. I thought of the Lord watching this scene that could have been a rerun of I Love Lucy, and laughing with me.
Life is like this for me, more times than not. Jeff made me a memory that morning. In the midst of all the seriousness of life, I can recall vividly the details of that day even though my son is now twenty years old. Not only is it a memory, it brings to mind a lesson that many of us forget in our day to day. Enjoy this experience called life, savor the joy in living, even when life throws you a curve, when a lemon situation rears its’ ugly head, or when your two year old pops the trunk lid at 50 mph.
Lord help me to enjoy life, not just do life. Show me how to find love in midst of unlovely days, take joy in the journey, and find laughter in the humanity of me.
“A merry heart doeth good, like a medicine…”
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