- Pull out of neighborhood and onto Main Street. See the unmarked police car. Check speed. Slow down slightly. Continue driving.
- See the lights flashing in the mirror 2 blocks after you saw the police car. Pull over.
- Hand the officer your license and registration. He asks if you know the speed limit on Main Street. Learn it is 25, rather than your answer of 35.
- Remain silent when he says it looks like you were really in a hurry. You look at the clock. For your son's last day of preschool you are now completely MIA for school pickup.
- Realize the swirl of events that occurred at the very same time because of where you stopped your car:
- You now sit in front of your daughter's elementary school.
- You now sit looking like you were pulled over in a school zone...because you pulled over in the school zone!
- ONE grade is outside playing. It's your daughter's. You see every kid except her. Wonder if she is hiding. Make eye contact with your daughter's teacher. Feel a little dizzy.
- Wonder how many people you know have driven past. Maybe putting your last name on your license plate hadn't been such a great idea.
- Take the paper the officer hands you. "Looks like your last warning was in 2012...at least in this town! Here is another warning. Obviously, we keep track of those." Say 'thank you', 'I'm sorry', and 'it won't happen again'. Realize feeling 16 again isn't always a good thing.
But the one glorious, amazing saving grace that kept me from completely being overwhelmed by the whole episode came from a friend. And not just any friend-you know the one you text when you've done something completely idiotic or totally hair brained? That's my friend Shalome. For while we have many things in common--church, our small group, preschool, having more than 4 kids--we truly crack each other up with our mishaps (and we have a lot!). So when she called to see if she could bring Charlie home from preschool (hooray for a van with bluetooth so that I could talk to her without holding my phone!!), I calmly tell her, "Well, I'm pulled over right now outside Kylie's school. Pretty sure I'm getting a ticket. Want to meet in the church parking lot across the street?" While this is a first, the conversation is still one we both consider perfectly normal.
So with that, I take my warning, circle around to the church parking lot, and wait for Shalome. While the shake of the her head and her laugh about how it could've been her doesn't take off the full weight, it does help take away a bit of the sting...at least until I go back to that same church parking lot to wait and pick up Kylie from school in a few hours.
Anyone want to give her a ride? ~LeAnne
copyright 2015 LeAnne Klopfenstein