All Because of a Tire

Originally uploaded by James Marvin Phelps (mandj98)


And sometimes, things just don’t go the way they’re supposed to.

We were headed north out of Southern Illinois on Tuesday, trekking the two-lane road to avoid major backups on I-57, which was under construction. Both of the little ones, who had been super crabby all morning, conked out almost instantly, and Christian and I looked at each other and said, “Let’s put some miles behind us before lunch.”

Five miles later, the van went, “Ding!”

Christian looked down and said, “Low tire pressure? Oh, no!”

We pulled off at a gas station to air up the tire, but one look told us that it was pointless. Pancake flat. Air hissing loudly enough to be heard over the passing traffic.

And so I unloaded the kids and took them in the convenience store, keeping them cool and subdued with Rolos and chocolate milk and Peter and the Wolf, while Christian pulled the donut from under the cab and changed the tire.

It was the best of small-town America when at least four people stopped to ask if they could help, and the convenience store clerk called her grandfather to bring us some rope to tie the tire on the roof, then gave us directions to the tire store.

And that tire store…whew, that waiting room was a blog post all its own. There was the older woman who sat telling me every story in her repertoire about Down syndrome and scolding Christian for the way he picked Nicholas up. In the half hour that we were there, she kept Alex chatting almost nonstop.

There was the humongous guy with the stub end of a cigar (unlit) glued to his lips. There were Alex and Julianna stretched out tummy to tummy underneath the row of shiny wheel rims strung along the counter. There was the four-way revolving discussion of what route we should take to get us home the fastest, considering the construction. There was the front page of the “local” section of the Southern Illinoisan, whose top story was NOT the capture of the bank robbers, but the car accident suffered by a local family. And then there was the guy in bib overalls (unbuttoned on the sides) who came in with a Mapquest printout and drawled, “Can you tell me how to find Southern Illinois Podiatry?”

By the time all was said and done, we pulled in to Pizza Hut at 1:25p.m., only to find that the buffet had just closed. But when the waitress heard our sob story she said, “Oh, I’ll tell them to make one more pizza for it!”

We were feeling pretty blessed, but all the same, by the time insufficient naps and the hours of boredom and the third dirty diaper in four hours had all taken their toll, the veneer of “Oh, what a great blog entry this will make!” had pretty well worn thin.

And then…(stay tuned tomorrow for a Motherhood Moment!)