Today I did the scariest thing I've ever done.
The morning dawned cold and cloudy. We hustled through our morning routine until I had one little boy dressed like a parrot ready to be dropped at his school, one little girl dressed in her school shirt and appropriate hair for "crazy hair day" ready to be dropped at her school, and a small little boy who would be my tagalong whose thick corduroy overalls could not disguise the look of pure trouble.
After school drop-offs, we began our drive. A dark cloud formed over head and seemed to follow directly above us, shadowing the path ahead. Music played softly over the speakers, but even the soothing sounds of strings could not quell the quaking in my stomach.
Driving through Vermont during the month of October is a bit like driving through a postcard. We passed red barns surrounded by lush green fields framed by the wild frenzy of fall. We passed quaint streets lined with picturesque houses and stores. We mooed at every cow we saw. (Yes, we mooed a lot.) The colors lining the roads and sky seemed as though Orange married Red and then had millions of tiny leaf babies to scatter in the wind. But in spite of the beauty surrounding us, my hands began to tremble and a small headache appeared from nowhere.
I couldn't do this. This was too much.
But we drove on.
As we got closer and closer, the dark cloud seemed to lower itself closer and closer toward us. I slowed down. My life was flashing before my eyes. A few black birds that looked an awful lot like bats swooped low and close to my windshield and I wondered if this was the same sort of symbol as a black cat crossing your path? Seemed about right.
The artistry of fall surrounding us coexisted with my fear, almost as a sort of beautifully choreographed dance with the devil. There was no backing out now. My time had come.
We pulled slowly into the driveway. Eli was silent, lulled into complacency by the heat of our car, his snack, and the soothing music. (Plus, he was tired from all of that mooing).
I slowly stepped out of my snazzy SUV, feeling every single day of my 31 years (plus a few decades). A tear fell from nowhere, wetting my cold, cold cheek.
I stared straight ahead. There it was.
It stared back at me. Glossy and shiny. Tall and strong. Dark and formidable.
This is what my life had come to.
I could see myself in its reflection, and it was not a pretty sight. Old and tired, I wondered if this is what they meant by the rest being downhill.
Suddenly small raindrops began to fall. Then bigger ones. Thunder cracked. Lightening lit up the sky.
It didn't move so neither did I. We stared at each other, each daring the other to look away first.
A power struggle. Somehow I knew I would lose.
Rain fell in puddles around me. My tear stained cheeks were washed away with the rain. My headache began to subside in the cool of the storm.
It stood even taller, the rain bouncing off of it as if it wore a protective shield and could not be bothered with mere nature.
Suddenly, as I stared, I swear it winked at me. Mocking me? Or saying "it's going to be all right"?
The rain stopped just a suddenly as it began. Just then a man appeared. He handed me a set of keys.
I took them, wondering why my hands were no longer trembling.
"Any questions?" He asked.
I shook my head. The time for questions were long past.
"Ok well good luck!" He said, too cheerfully.
I nodded, afraid to use my voice.
"I hope you like your new minivan."
Minivan. He used the m word.
"Thanks. I think it will be just what we need," I said, and strangely, meant it.
I looked away, over at my small but stylish SUV, witnessing the death of the "We'll NEVER have a mini van dream OH NO NOT US!" dream. Gone. Poof.
And then the moment was over as quickly as it began and we suddenly had a vehicle that had an extra seat for the new baby. It was nice to have that taken care of. Ok, so maybe it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world.
I climbed aboard, noting all of the space, the seats, the cupholders, the walls oozing with convenience with which to haul my crew. Suddenly, it felt like I had come home.
Sometimes the scariest things are the rightest things. Or so my new minivan tells me.