Wilderness Training For Kids

I know I’ve said this before but one of the things that we’ve always tried to teach the kids is to look at the bright side of things. Sometimes it’s harder than other times but there is always a silver lining.  And I try really hard to find it.  One of my favorites is to point out that we are healthy and together and safe. And that someone always has it worse. And there are times when they’re completely uninterested in this optimism and that can be frustrating.  But there are times when they show me that they have actually been listening. Like the other day when I had a flat tire. 

Flat tires.  I have an amazing ability to get flat tires.  If I’m going to be famous for one thing, it’s going to be flat tires.  I can’t even undersell how ridiculously prone to flat tires I am.  And the other day was no different.  I started the day with a list of things that I needed to do.  I had to run William’s project to him because he forgot it. And while at the school, I needed to buy Kaleb’s cap and gown.  (And, naturally, it was the last day to do it because that’s how I roll.)  And then I planned to go buy a bunch of hurricane supplies for good old Irma.  That’s not exactly what happened though.

I did succeed at getting to the school so there was that!  Sadly, I had to wait to meet William between classes. Which meant that I had to loiter for 30 minutes.  It wasn’t that big of a deal because I needed to go to the media center to take care of Kaleb business but soon found out the company would only be there at lunchtime.  So then it was kind of a big deal. haha.  Eventually, I met up with William and left to go buy hurricane supplies with plans to come back at lunchtime.

But, instead, I got a flat tire!

It took me a minute to put it all together when I heard the rumbling. First, I thought it was the road, then I realized it was me.  And as I pulled into the next parking lot (which luckily was a park), it hit me, it was a flat tire! It had been about a month since my last one so I guess it was time.  

So fast forward through the panicked texts to Brian and whoever else would listen.  Of course, I called my insurance company and got the roadside assistance request in right away. While I was on hold and melting down a little, I started to pick up on Lizzie’s conversation with Antwan and me (because kids don’t stop talking just because you are on the phone, ha.)

She was saying things like – “We need to get something sharp to stick in that tree and we can get some maple syrup!”

I thought that was cute and told her that we would look around. Although, I’m only realizing now that I forgot.

And then my insurance company said the most ridiculous thing that I may have ever heard in my life. “Your roadside assistance has been removed due to excessive use.”

What??? I wasn’t reassured by the representative’s reassurance that I wasn’t paying for it, anyway.  I mean, I thought I was paying, didn’t notice the slight decrease in my bill and I thought I could use it so try again, mister.  I didn’t know that there was a limit on how often you could need help.  What a horrible thing to remove without notification.  Anyway, that was when I was really struggling to maintain. Ok, that’s a lie. I didn’t maintain, I cried. I cried in a public place like a very dramatic baby.

And then there was Antwan. He started with rubbing my back then was asking me if I needed a hug. (I did.) Then he was quoting his mother “Mommy, the good thing is we are all together and we are a family…”

Then as I’m trying to get everything squared away, I hear Lizzie say with relief – “Antwan, we have a water source over there so we will have something to drink.”

That’s when I realized the significance of the maple tree comment.  She was planning for our survival if we were stranded there. At a park, less than a mile from Walmart. 😉 But still, she’s one smart girl.

Eventually, things got sorted out (no thanks to my reptilian insurance company) and a tow truck was driving us to the tire place which Lizzie and Antwan thought was the coolest thing EVER.  And we were soon eating a much needed McDonald’s meal while we waited. All in all, could have been worse. And Lizzie and Antwan enjoyed their adventure and their playtime at the park. 🙂

My take-aways. My kids actually listen! Lizzie and Antwan, at least. 😉 I mean, not when I’m telling them not to leave their shoes on the floor or to brush their teeth but to the big stuff. They know what really matters. They also know how to prepare for a disaster; whether it be Hurricane Irma or being stranded indefinitely at a park in Julington Creek.


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