Guardian Angel: Roadside Assistance

, , , , | Hopeless | January 13, 2018

(I am driving along a country road in unusually cold and snowy weather when I skid on a patch of ice and crash through a hedge. I have my two kids in the car with me, and we are unhurt, but pretty shaken up. We get out of the car and, sure enough, it is utterly stuck. The weather is very, very cold, it is starting to get dark, and we aren’t dressed for it. I try to phone my husband to get him to come and rescue us, but there is no reply. I decide to ring the rescue service, but I know they’ll take an hour or so to get there. Just as I am starting to get really worried, a van drives past, reverses, and pulls up alongside us. I tense up, realising we are pretty vulnerable, out there in the middle of nowhere. A tall, muscular-looking woman wearing muddy manual labour clothing gets out and comes over to us. She gives us a cheerful smile, as if seeing us made her day.)

Woman: “I’ve got some ropes in the van; would you like me to haul you out?”

Me: “Oh, yes, please, if you could!”

Woman: “Are you all okay? Anybody hurt?”

Me: “No, we’re fine.”

Woman: *to my kids* “I bet you’re cold, though. Hang on…”

(She goes and rummaged in her cabin and gets out two fluffy blankets with cute cartoon owls on them. She kneels down — in the snow! — and talks to my kids.)

Woman: “These are for you, if you want them.”

(My son and daughter, a bit shocked and shy about this strange woman, look at me, and I nod. They take the blankets gratefully and wrap themselves up in them.)

Woman: “Right, let’s get you out.”

(She quickly gets our car roped up to her van and easily pulls it backwards out of the hedge and back onto the road. It is such a huge relief when I am able to start the engine successfully.)

Woman: “Have you got far to go?”

Me: “We’re just going to [Nearby Town].”

Woman: “Is it okay if I escort you? Just to make sure your car isn’t damaged?”

Me: “Uh, yes, please.”

Woman: “Okay, I was heading that way, anyway. I’ll follow you.”

(Sure enough, the car was fine, and she waved goodbye when we got into town. What I really regret, and why I’m writing this, is that I never said, “Thank you.” I was too shaken up by the whole thing. So, if you’re reading this, mysterious lady, many thanks; you might have saved our lives. My daughter is now in her teens and still has the blanket with the owls on it. She says her guardian angel gave it to her.)

Exisssstential Crisisssss

, , , , , , | Related | January 13, 2018

(My family and I are going for a bike ride in the forest when I see a dead snake on the path. We all stop to look at it and are expressing our sympathy [“Aw, poor thing,” etc.] when my youngest sister, probably about three years old, suddenly comes out with this gem:)

Sister: “So, snakes do exist!”

(We all cracked up and tried to figure out where that came from. She had seen snakes in the zoo before, so we still have no idea why she would say that.)

Hope That Wasn’t The Self-Destruct Button

, , , , | Right | January 5, 2018

(I’m hosting a birthday party for nine year olds at the falconry centre where I work. We’ve just finished doing the health and safety talk.)

Me: “Okay, so any questions before we start?”

Child: “Which way does the thingymajiggy go?”

Me: “Umm… clockwise?”

Child: “Cool.” *continues as normal*

Talking To A “Hiya” Power

, , , | Hopeless | January 3, 2018

(My toddler’s first word was “hiya,” and it’s probably still her favourite one. Strangers usually take her open nature very well, and I tell them that if they talk to her they’re her friends for life. Our apartment block’s ground floor consists of commercial units, so it’s a common occurrence to meet delivery drivers when leaving the car park. We are going out for a walk, and [Daughter] is in one of her make-friends-with-everybody moods.)

Daughter: *to everyone and everything* “Hiya! Hiya!”

Delivery Driver: *turns around as he’s carrying a load into the shop* “Hiya! How are you?”

Daughter: “Hiya!”

Delivery Driver: “Hiya!” *brings load inside*

Daughter: *to shop owner* “Hiya!”

Owner: *looks up* “Hello.”

Daughter: “Hiya!”

(The driver comes back out.)

Delivery Driver: “Hiya! You’re a chatty wee one, aren’t you?”

Me: “Oh, yeah. She’s friends with everyone in the world!”

Delivery Driver: “Ah, I wonder where she gets that from?”

Me: *laughing* “Me, too!”

(We keep walking, and we get to a corner at a bottleneck when a delivery truck stops.)

Delivery Driver: “Hiya!”

Daughter: *silent, but she recognises him so she smiles*

Delivery Driver: “Ahh, are we all shy, now?”

Me: “Yep, when you talk to her first, she’s quiet. She wouldn’t stop talking up until now!”

Driver: “Ah, that’s okay. Come here!” *he holds up a lollipop* “I got two of these; here you go!”

Me: “Oh, wow! Say, ‘Thank you,’ [Daughter]!”

(I lift her up to the door to take it.)

Me: “Thank you so much!”

Daughter: “Hiya!”

Driver: “Hiya! You’re a great girl! You be good for your mammy, now!”

Daughter: *waves* “Bye bye!”

(This isn’t as rare of an occurrence as you’d think; she is literally friends with everyone, and strangers often give her things. I’m hoping that I can teach her to be just as generous!)

Dead Man’s Jest

, , , , | Learning | December 27, 2017

(I am being taught about the equipment needed to safely rock climb. A carabiner is a kind of clip. Lockable carabiners don’t snap open when pressed against a rock, and the instructor considers knowing this very important.)

Instructor: “What kind of carabiner do we want?”

Everyone: “A locking carabiner!”

(Later:)

Instructor: “What kind of carabiner do we want?”

Everyone: “A locking carabiner!”

(Later:)

Instructor: “What kind of carabiner do we want?”

Me: “Pirates of the carabiner!”

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