I looked in the rear view mirror at my three boys, they failed to see the humor in my question so I revised it,
“Seat belts? Got your seat belts on?”
I heard a chorus of affirmative responses. I was forced to buy those jock straps because my husband forgot so I was going to make sure they wore them to every baseball game on our busy baseball schedule. Besides at some point in my life I expected grandchildren.
“Before we leave this driveway, think hard and make sure you have everything you need, we have no room for error.”
I had three of them playing baseball that summer. This particular evening the two older ones had a game at the same time in 2 different cities. I had to be in two places at the same time. The planning for this day started three days earlier and I think math was involved. Drop the middle on off first in our city because his coach is always there early. Take the oldest to the neighboring city where my husband would meet me after he left work. Go back to the spot you dropped off the middle boy, sit and enjoy the rest of the game.
“I have to go to the bathroom.”
Jesus, Mary and Joseph the youngest had to pee. Days of planning blown all to hell because of one simple sentence. I heard myself say,
“Are you sure?”
Of course he was sure, one of them always had to go. My response was an automatic, unbelievable plea, a meek reflex utterance. I froze in my seat, wide eyed.
I squeezed my eyes shut for a second to regain my senses. There, I got them back, I went into action. Got out of the car, opened the back door. Grabbed the youngest one from the middle of the back seat, looked at the other two and said,
“Don’t move, stay where you are, we’ll be right back.”
We ran to the front door and I ran back to the car for my house keys. The plan was crumbling. By the time we got back in the car I had some serious time to make up. I’m not going to tell you that I broke the laws of physics driving down the long stretch of road on our way to the first baseball field because I did have my whole reason for living in the backseat and would never jeopardize my babies for a couple baseball games. But I did push it a little more than I should have. And that’s when I saw the flashing lights behind me.
“Uh guys? We have to make a stop.”
A round of protests began.
“There is a policeman behind us and we have to stop. Everything is fine just be quiet while I talk to the nice officer.”
Oh please let him be nice.
“Ma’am can I see your license and registration please?”
“Did you know you were going 42 in a 25 miles per hour area?”
“Really, it’s 25 here?”
“Yes ma’am. And did you know your license plate tags are expired?”
“Yes ma’am. Technically I could have your car towed right here, but I’m just going to give you a couple tickets.”
So he was a nice officer because he didn’t leave us on the side of the road. Probably because of the two wide eyed boys in the back seat and sandwiched between them their crying little brother. In a more desperate situation I probably could have got them all to cry but I decide to play fair. And we were on our way to their baseball games, there’s no crying in baseball.
I took a deep breath while I waited for the nice officer to write my tickets. I calmed the youngest down and resigned myself to the fact that we were going to be late to both games and during the traveling from baseball field to baseball field I would be driving illegally.
I dropped the middle one off in the parking lot and waved the tickets in the air at the coach then went to the next field. My husband and my oldest one's coach were standing by the field talking to each other as I arrive. They had puzzled looks on their faces and I again waved the tickets in the air, told my husband I didn’t want to talk about it and I drove back to the first field.
Once there I set up my lawn chair a little further down the left field side than usual, sat down and pulled my youngest onto my lap. I took a deep breath and kissed the top of his little blonde head.
Here come the many questions I was expecting.
“I have to go to the bathroom.”