Sunday, January 23, 2011

Unplanned Adventure

A few weeks ago we had an unplanned adventure. Boo's teacher mentioned in the weekly Kindergarten newsletter that the class was running low on snacks. I planned to take the kids to the store a few other things we needed for lunch that day, so snacks were added to the list. We piled into the car and hit the road. I noticed that we were out of gas. Josh had mentioned this the night before when he drove some of the young men home. The kids had shoes, but no coats, since we were just "running quick" into the store. Please don't judge me, friends! I passed one gas station and decided to hit the one closer to the store where we'd be shopping. Can you guess where this is going?

I pulled into the gas station and realized that I had forgotten THE debit card that we use for purchases. I didn't want to use our credit card, so I told the kids I had forgotten my money and that we needed to go back home to get it.

We turned around and headed home, and while we were driving up the hill to our neighborhood, the car quit. KA-PUT. As an impulsive reaction, I gasped and said, "Oh my gosh, we're out of gas!" THat hasn't happened since I was a newly graduated college student! Yaks burst into terrified tears, certain that we were doomed to die a slow death on the side of the road. Diddles started crying because she was hungry and tired of being in her carseat and wanted out of there. Boo said, "What should we do?"

I thought about just getting out of the car and walking home, but our lack of winter wear and the fact that I wasn't certain if the lawn mower gas can actually had gas in it made me decide that we needed help.

I should have taken the time to say a prayer with the kids, but I didn't. I did manage to calm the situation by saying, "We're having an adventure!" Then I asked the kids, "Who should we call?" Boo immediately rattled off several of her friends, which is awesome in and of itself that we have friends in our neighborhood who would happily come to our rescue. We eliminated the friends (moms) who were too far to drive or the ones who had several kids at home who might be a little inconvenienced to have to load their kids in the car to come rescue us.

We ended up calling our friend, Kersten. Her son Michael, is Boo's friend, and she's also in our ward Primary presidency. She is a saint, a good friend, and wonderful example. I quickly told her our situation and where we were. She said, "Oh! I'm so happy you called! We just finished reading the story of The Good Samaritan." See? She's amazing. I love that she turned our adventure into a teaching moment for all of us. Eventhough I told her the wrong street, she and her son found us quickly and came with a gas can to fill us up enough to get us home for our debit card, and then off to the CLOSEST gas station to fill up.

Michael's face was precious. He popped his head out of the door and waved to my kids as any knight in shining armor would. I said, "Our hero! You rescued us!" He was beaming. We all said thank you to our rescuers and we parted.

The kids spent the rest of the day discussing our "adventure" and creating a Thank You card for our friends, complete with a picture of a red gas can and Michael's head poking out of his car window. Since then, every time we get in the car, the kids ask, "Mom, do we have enough gas to get there?"

I'm grateful for good friends, Christ-like lessons and great (little) acts of service. I hope I can be that kind of rescuer for someone else sometime. That reminds me, I should probably fill up that gas can!


Cara and Steve said...

Amy, you always manage to turn stressful situations into teaching moments for your kiddos. I love how you always maintain that calm demeanor and simply focus on the task at hand. It's always the uphill incline that will get you when your low on gas... learned that one about 5 yrs ago. Luckily there was a gas station about 1/4 mile down at the bottom of the hill, so I just let my car roll down the hill and into the gas station... lucky me :)

Nicole said...

I have had an adventure or two of my own. And one thing I have learned living in Alaska is that even if it is just quick, and our car is always in our heated garage so we don't always want to wear one right away, we have to at least have our coats in the car even if they are not on. Now if it was me, my cell phone battery would have been dead, since that is how good I am about keeping it charged.

Dianna said...

That is a great experience for your kids and your friend's son. I love that they ask you now if you have enough gas. We had a similar situation with my oldest two when they were little and my Ben asked me the same question for months after.

Liz said...

I'm glad that it turned out okay in the end! What an adventure.