OPINION: What Goes Down in the Mom Van

photo: Shutterstock

I like Starbucks (as do my kids) which is why I suppose I was carrying an order that I literally had to juggle to get out to my car, right now. I shifted the tray in my hand and after much maneuvering with the whole drink distribution thing and some scintillating debate as to who ordered the Perfect Bar, we were well on our way to being extremely late.

Good things come to those who wait but I wasn’t feeling particularly patient this afternoon nor was my daily mantra, I will release the things out of my control …’ particularly working the magic of a 30-minute Swedish massage performed by a 30-something Swede (we’ll call him Vidar) with breathtaking bone structure and steel blue eyes, the kind that had me at “Hello,” and exist entirely in the context of my admittedly far-fetched fantasy.

Shit goes down in my mom van. I laugh. I cry. I make other people cry and then try to make them laugh. Usually, I fail miserably, like today when all three kids were close to tears. Truthfully, I wasn’t far behind. Someone kicked the back of my seat, a bag of goldfish went flying and my younger daughter waged war on the air conditioning, inciting such a fists-drawn fight with my eldest, even the Boelyns would have agreed, no heir is worth it, sista. At least they weren’t fighting over a guy. Yet.

“We’re gonna be late,” my younger daughter whined, shutting the air off again.

“We’re fine,” I snapped.

“If ‘fine’ is the new delusional,” she smirked. “You’re really crushin’ it, madre.” Lovely.

“Did you make my hair appointment?”

Someone was beeping at me. Was I really driving that slow? “Hair appointment,” I repeated.

The older Boelyn sighed. “Jesus, Mom. Prom. Prom? The hair appointment. Did you call them?”

“Oh. Right. Yeah. No. I didn’t. I…”

“Red light,” S said, kicking my seat again.

I know it’s bad but I do it a lot, taking that 30 seconds to send a quick text, or put on some (so I don’t look like Night of the Living Dead) mascara or, in this case, calling the salon my friend recommended. Wilton Hair … something … I couldn’t quite remember the name, (what did we do before Google) ah, … found it.

“Quiet. I’m on speaker.”

Girl on Phone: “Wilton (something inaudible) hair…help you?”

Me on Speaker: “Hi. I just needed a latte … ” (baby screaming) “… an appointment for … sorry … for my latte … daughter for the prom …”

Girl on Phone: “Hair and makeup or just hair?”

Me (now off speaker because who could hear shit with all that screaming): “Um, both. Right? Both? That’s what most people do, right? I’m so not versed on the whole prom thing … I didn’t go. I mean to the prom. I mean, I wanted to but then I asked this guy but he liked this other girl and I don’t know what I was thinking. He soooo wasn’t my type and, you know looking back, I’m not exactly sure what I saw in him and me doing the asking? Jesus, it wasn’t a Sadie Hawkins dance … ” (someone nudges me, the light turns green) “… anyway hair and makeup would be fine. Can I ask how much? Not that it matters really. It’s prom. Pull out all the stops, right? And my credit cards ’cause boy, will I be needing them …”

(Cut to the remainder of a very, very in-depth conversation on how much time was enough time to be picture ready, (figure a hot 20 and change) and just when I thought we had finally put a bow on the whole thing …

Me: (back on speaker because Junior screamed so much he exhausted himself and everyone else and is finally, finally sleeping) “What’s the address again? You’re in town, right?”

Girl on Phone: “Something, something Main Street.”

Me: (chasm of the earth, hole in my plan, sinking feeling silence) “I’m sorry. Where?”

Girl on Phone: “Main Street … 319 … off North Hampton … ” (Which all would have made perfect sense if I were living in Wilton, Maine, the apparent location of our newly booked hair/makeup/possibly false eyelash appointment.)

I rolled down the window, changed the station and thought of Vidar, my imaginary masseuse. Hot stones were involved. He smelled like cardamom and cedar and I looked like Rachel McAdams (the brunette version, circa Family Stone) but like all good fantasies, sometimes you just have to hit the brakes, figuratively and literally, and while I knew Vidar would wait for me (how could he not … being fictional really has its perks), I had some more pressing issues at hand, like how does one begin to drink the contents of an iced oat milk latte off her windshield without raising concern or questions from passersby. Maybe ‘I will release the things out of my control’ should have come with an attached addendum like, ‘… including but not limited to iced oat milk lattes I forgot to take off the roof of my car.’

“Talk about the dangers of drinking and driving,” I muttered, hitting the windshield wipers.

My older daughter sighed, polishing off that Perfect Bar. “Mom?”

“Yeah?”

“We’re not really driving to Maine, right?”

Columnist Lesley Kirschner grew up quiet, in the woods, and devoid of siblings so her hobbies quickly became reading, writing, and talking to inanimate objects. She also spent a considerable amount of time doing voice-overs for her dolls and watching too much daytime television–channel 3, sometimes channel 8, if the weather was good and the antenna wasn’t acting up. She was in attendance at school, graduated from a very much not notable college not worth mentioning, and was transplanted to Wilton with her husband, Ambler Farm‘s Farmer Jonathan and their (baby makes) three children almost a decade ago. Although she never quite found her calling in life, other than perhaps the doll voice-overs, which in hindsight were eerily convincing, she’s happy to try her hand at writing and is thankful for the support and community she found on Facebook’s Buy Nothing Wilton. Lesley realizes while this is all very exciting, she’s not winning a Pulitzer so she’ll wrap it up and be quiet. She’s had a lot of practice. 

1 COMMENT

  1. Thanks again Leslie… for making the time to document your juggling act so we can “ride along” with you (and Vidal). Onward.

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