A mother’s work is never done. There is always a mess to clean, a boo boo to kiss, an errand to run, etc. The list of to-do’s grows longer every week and never gets completely accomplished.
One afternoon, after a particularly hectic day at work, I picked up my son from school and was elated at the thought of heading home and resting on the couch. I had just pulled into the driveway when my phone chimed. “Can you bring Gatorade to practice tonight?” the text message read.
Shoot! Raff had baseball practice that evening and I had forgotten all about it. The practice didn’t start for another two hours, but I still had to make dinner, oversee homework, gather up his baseball equipment, run to the store to buy Gatorade, and drive to the ball fields. So much for resting on the couch.
After a quick dinner and homework finished, I loaded baseball gear in the car, rushed my son out the door, and we hit the road.
Fortunately, there was a Dollar General store on the way to the ball fields. I zipped in, placed enough Gatorade in my cart for all the kids on the team, and got in line at the checkout.
I stood there for a few minutes before I realized the line wasn’t moving so I leaned out slightly to see what was going on. An older woman was buying milk. A large Ziplock bag in front of her was filled with pennies. She was slowly counting them out one at a time. I waited a few more minutes until my grip on sanity was slowly slipping away, walked up to the counter and whisked my card through the debit card machine.
I turned back to the woman who had a shocked look on her face. “I’m sorry, but I’m in a hurry.” The cashier handed the woman her milk and I took my place in line again. Several people breathed sighs of relief that the penny ordeal was over. It finally became my turn, and I quickly paid for my Gatorade and hopped back into my car.
“What took you so long?” Raff exclaimed.
“Pennies. Long story,” I answered, just as I looked down at my dashboard and saw my gas light come on. I sighed and laid my head against the steering wheel. I was never going to make it to the ball field on time.
I pulled into the parking lot of the nearest gas station and eased my car up to the gas pump. I hopped out, swiped my debit card and started filling up my tank.
“Mom!” Raff said from the back seat. “Your cell phone is ringing!”
I got back into the car to answer my phone. After my brief phone call, I noticed the gas pump had shut off, so I turned on the ignition again, put my car into drive, and pulled out of the parking lot.
As I was pulling away I heard a faint popping sound. I glanced into my rear view mirror but didn’t see anything askew. I turned my car onto the highway and drove toward the ball fields.
Barely two miles away from the gas station, I caught a flashing blue light in the corner of my eye. A police car with its lights on was behind my car. I pulled over to the side of the road to let the officer pass, but instead he pulled up right behind me!
Raff, who was curious as to why we were stopping, looked out of the back windshield. “The cops are here mom!” He exclaimed. “Are we in trouble?” he asked nervously.
“No we aren’t honey, calm down.” I reassured him. “I’m not sure why he pulled me over, I wasn’t speeding…” I said, more to myself than to anyone.
I rolled down my window as the officer walked up to my window. “Hello, ma’am. Do you know why I pulled you over?” the officer asked, as he peered down through dark sunglasses.
“No, I’m not sure why. Did I do something wrong?” I asked. I reached for my wallet and started pulling out my driver’s license and insurance card.
“Well, I believe you took something from the gas station just now, and they would like it back,” the officer said, in a very serious tone.
“What?” I exclaimed. I didn’t even go into the gas station! And I knew I had paid for my gas!
The officer glanced toward the back of my car. I leaned out my window to look in the same direction and gasped with horror. “Oh my gosh! I can’t believe I did that!” To my complete embarrassment, I stared at the gas hose still hanging out of my gas tank. I had forgotten to remove it after pumping gas!
“I’m so sorry! I was just so distracted with trying to get my son to baseball practice on time. I just completely forgot to take it out!” I gushed.
The officer started chuckling. “It’s ok, it happens more than you think. But the gas station does want their pump back.”
“Is my mom going to jail?” Raff asked from the backseat.
“No, she doesn’t have to go to jail!” The officer laughed. “Do you want me to return the hose for you?” he asked.
“Yes, please! I’m so embarrassed!” I said. He instructed me to be a little more careful and pay more attention at gas stations, removed the hose I had driven off with, and drove away to return the looted item. I was so relieved!
I sat on the side of road for another moment, trying to recover from my humiliation. I finally put my car into drive and started toward the ball fields once more. Raff piped up from the back seat “I can’t wait to tell everyone on my team about this!”