To the woman parked in the Astro minivan next to me at the YMCA, try to remember what I told you: This is why God invented wine! Poor dear was having one of “those days.” Anyone who’s been in possession of a child for more than six hours knows what “those days” are. She was just sitting in her van when I went into the gym, and she was still sitting there when I came back out. In her van. Windows up. Sitting.
This seemed sort of strange, so I tapped on the window and asked if she was okay, pointing out that you really don’t get the benefits of your workout if you don’t actually get out of the vehicle and go inside. She said she wasn’t there to work out. She was hiding. Okay, that was alarming. But, she reassured me it wasn’t her that was in danger. Her toddler, on the other hand, was pushing his limits. The identified toddler was home with dad. And mom was just hiding in her van in the parking lot.
I use to “hide” in the parking lot of the high school. It was a clever enough disguise; anyone driving up would assume I was there to pick up my child. In fact, I was sitting there reminding myself that one day my child would actually go to high school if we both survived that particularly challenging day. So hang in there minivan mom!
To the YMCA, thank you for putting the sign on the front window in three languages explaining that fire arms and weapons of any kind were not allowed in the gym. This gives me a greater sense of safety for those times when I realize I still have another 15 minutes left on the treadmill and start screaming, “Are you kidding?! Can someone please just shoot me!” that someone won’t actually do that. Despite the level of conviction that goes into the delivery of that statement at the time, I probably don’t really want to be gunned down at the YMCA.
If you think about it, this is probably why minivan mom chose that parking lot. Right there on the window is a reminder that, as much as you think you’d like to kill your kids – and we’ve all thought it (usually more than once) – it’s frowned upon. At least at the Y.