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Tales from the Motherhood: Taking a little time from everything to do nothing

Published: Friday, March 22, 2013 4:16 p.m. CST • Updated: Friday, March 22, 2013 4:18 p.m. CST

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Sick of hearing about my car accident? I sure am.

I’ve been up to my eyeballs in doctors visits and insurance forms while also wrestling with the minutia of researching new cars, test-driving them and haggling with their dealers. The whole thing has made me long for the simplicity and freedom of my bike, and a lifestyle where cars are irrelevant.

Though it’s only been two weeks, it’s been a bit of a marathon. I’ll be very glad when everything’s settled. Oh, the irony, of needing to test-drive so many different cars while recovering from a concussion! The added mental and physical tension does absolutely nothing to promote healing in my body. As for my psyche, every time I approach an intersection I worry that someone will fly through a stop sign and hit me again.

I know it gets better, but I’m tired of it. Of all of it.

You know you need a break when the prospect of spending a few minutes stretched out on a table while CT scans are done of your head and neck sounds like a vacation. Thank goodness the kids and I have one coming next week, one that doesn’t require planning or packing. A real vacation. No school, no soccer, no meetings, no nothing. NOTHING.

I wonder if I can get away with wearing my pajamas all week? 

Todd and the kids have been awesome through all of this. They’ve taken the fashion crises that arise from a clean laundry shortage in stride, and been terrific side-kicks on my car-search adventures.

Car shopping with a 14-year-old who snagged a cup of coffee at a car dealership while I was in the bathroom was a hoot, and a similar effect was had a few days later when Holly pleaded for a package of car-dealer-vending-machine-issued gummy worms.

(Don’t go there. Yes, the worst of the worst ingredients. I’m not proud, though I can’t say I didn’t thoroughly enjoy our Long-John Silver’s drive-thru meal after we test-drove a Subaru in Joliet. OMG, good thing we don’t happen by those too often.)

I could hardly say no to the candy after I hijacked her right after school and announced that she and I were spending the rest of the day car-shopping, when I knew that what she really needed was some down-time.

The kid didn’t even bat an eyelash, though, just assumed her position in the back seat of every car I drove, took notes and made helpful observations. They both did, this week. What troopers. (My favorite of Holly’s notes, for example, are “Cute horn!” and “See if dealer guy can fit in back seat.” That one cracks me up. Yes, he was tall, as Noah’s becoming, and yes, the dealer-guy fit.) And one night, when it got down to the nitty-gritty and I was preoccupied with the chore of reviewing competing “out-the-door” costs on the phone with two dealers line by line, Holly made dinner. I can honestly say that those were the best scrambled eggs I’ve ever had.

I’m grateful, too, for everyone who took the time to send me good vibes or to reach out with kind words of encouragement. Some of you even offered terrific advice. Many thanks! You all made me smile. I have the nicest readers.

After my neurologist’s office called Wednesday evening with the news that everything was normal on my CT scans (phew!), I set aside the CARFAX figures and dealer quotes, laid down on the floor beside my desk with the dog, tucked an ice-pack behind my neck and pulled a blanket over us both. The kids would both be at soccer practice for little while.

Life is good, I thought, as I took my first deep breath in two weeks, stared at the ceiling and undersides of the bookshelves and enjoyed the fresh perspective my good news afforded. Aches and pains aside, the rest of my concerns are simply first-world problems, when it comes right down to it. Property settlements, car shopping, interest rates and cloth versus leather (cloth) – all of it. We’re blessed to have such choices, aren’t we?

The back door opened and Holly appeared.

“We played tug-of-war at the end of practice and I fell back onto someone’s foot,” she announced. “I hurt my tailbone.”

 “Here kid, have an ice-pack,” I said, and tossed her mine. It was still cold. She curled up next to us as Jake sighed his satisfied sigh and we had ourselves a moment. PJ’s for a week? Yeah, that’s a challenge I’m up for.
• Jennifer DuBose lives in Batavia with her husband, Todd, and their two children, Noah and Holly. She provides this personal recollection of an event she experienced. Contact her at jenniferdubose@msn.com.

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