Friday morning started off badly, with Faith writhing and going all limp bodied as I tried to get her dressed, to her slowly leaking big tears out of bright and pleading eyes on the way to school. I stopped and got her a big cookie to eat on the way, hoping that bribery and chocolate would take the sting out of me forcing her to go to school, but no, once we pulled up she started crying and begging me not to leave her. I had one of those moments standing outside of the car when I was half-expecting a REAL adult to walk up and take over the situation, instructing me gently how to handle life and other things. In the end I had to pry her from the car and carry her inside, handing her off to her teacher who was sweetly consoling her and promising her big fun and I had to rush quickly out the door before anyone could see me do my crumple cry face. I saved that for the ride to work, fanning myself before walking in and swallowing the big lump of failure, disappointment, and reality before settling into the day.
The real treat of the day, however, came when I went to pick her up at the end of the day. She was in somewhat high spirits and her teacher started telling me what she had done all day and we were making small talk when in bursts a young woman from the playground hollering about who was driving the Honda. “I am,” I started, staring at her, when she then told me that it was rolling away. I turned towards the door and the teacher had to tell me to, you know, put my daughter down before I went running outside, so down I put her and hauled out the front door, alarming all the teachers in the main area, and I saw the white Honda slowly crossing the large field next door to the daycare, almost to the cross road. I ran harder than I have, oh, lets see, EVER, simultaneously praying that the car would stop before it got to the road or that I would get there first, thanking myself for choosing to wear flats that day, hearing a car honk and sure it is that girl I work with watching me race across a field after a runaway car, and wondering if I really did have to walk back inside after this or could I just call Jeff and have him go get Faith now, and always in the future.
I walked back inside, sheepishly but trying to laugh at myself, like oh isn't it so funny? I let my car roll away! In a parking lot of the day care at the end of the day when kids are walking outside! I cried this morning and then caused a big scene in the afternoon! In the end I just mustered as much dignity as one can and gathered up my daughter and paid the administrator for the week and walked out, both of us wishing we didn't ever have to go back.