I'm starting this post yesterday because my youngest just called me from downtown Seattle and left me a voice mail saying "You were right, there was no parking at the Light Rail, so we drove to Seattle and found parking downtown."
I didn't get to the phone because I was on the floor behind the refrigerator trying to figure out why it was leaking. I probably didn't hear it because I was too busy cursing. But it was worth it just to have those three little words recorded on voice mail. I was so excited I called her back.
"I just want to hear you say it again."
"You were right."
I warned her that parking would be difficult if not impossible to find at the Light Rail; that was my biggest objection to them taking the Light Rail on a Friday. But her friend (who was not with them Friday) assured her there was adequate parking across the street and moms don't know anything (okay, that last part was me in a mocking voice assuming what she was really trying to say). That was the moment I decided I didn't care because I wasn't involved anyway.
Not only was I glowing about one of my kids saying I was right, but also with pride that my youngest drove them all into downtown Seattle. She said it was horrible, but she did it.
Baby steps. At least she knows she can do it.
9:26 am Saturday:
Oh, this story gets better. Hold on to your hats, we're going for a drive. If you're not laughing by the end of this, there is something wrong with you.
Yes, my youngest successfully drove herself, our adopted daughter, my oldest and her friend to downtown Seattle and successfully found parking. They had a great day with lots of attention and people stopping them to get pictures, which I think is the idea of the whole convention thing.
I received a call from my oldest around 8:20. She was the only one fit enough by then to make the call. It had gotten dark, they were frightened and tired. They had lost the car and they were hopelessly lost themselves. They wanted me to come pick them up and help them find the car. Some of them were crying, they were GPSing parking lots, but there are some situations GPS cannot get you out of. During the call, my oldest burst into tears as the reality of the situation finally hit her.
I told them to find a safe place they could sit and wait. They had ended up at the underground tour, which was closing for the night. So they went next door to a restaurant, where the waitress was blessedly friendly and accommodating.
Mom and Dad to the rescue (did you hear those trumpets last night?)! My husband and I headed out right away and I thought, "Nice they're giving me something to write about." I thought the only exciting thing that would happen this Easter week was that I cracked a dozen eggs while boiling them to color. I've never lost that many eggs during the process before, so you can see why that would be worth writing about.
I have to apologize to my mother here. She texted me just as we were leaving and asked if the girls were home yet. I texted back, "Not yet. On their way," because that was true. I didn't want her to get upset and worried, nor did I want to take the time to explain it. So, sorry, mom, it wasn't a lie, they were on their way because I was going to get them. It was an omission to protect innocent bystanders.
As we drove into Seattle, I wondered why they were so scared. There were a lot of people about. But as I drove toward the underground tour, I realized it was in the bar district. If you know anything about Seattle, you would have to stop and ponder how they could have possibly ended up there considering they started at the Convention Center; it's quite the hike.
Anyway, we collected them and set out to find the car. The girls were GPSing all the diamond parking lots and we were diligently checking out each one. They kept describing the lot and we kept driving further and further out, knowing it was ridiculous to think they would have parked that far away, but we didn't know what else to do.
We drove in circles. We kept ending up back at the same lots we'd already checked out. Finally, I decided we should start where they would have driven into Seattle and try and retrace their steps. I began to really drill them to try and spark their memories.
"Do you remember any businesses nearby? Do you remember the cross streets? Do you remember the street it was on? Do you remember ANY substantial, defining details that would at least help us zero in on the lot besides the fact there was ivy on a wall? Does anything look familiar?
We drove around for an hour and forty minutes. Nothing looked familiar to them by then, yet everything looked familiar because they had wandered so far and we had driven so long. My youngest was very upset. I told her, "Don't cry, you did great. You drove yourselves to Seattle. YOU didn't lose the car, all four of you lost the car. It's no one's fault, next time you park, you remember to take note."
Then I had to pee.
In the process of looking for a place where I could park to run in to McDonald's and use the facilities, I felt hopelessness come over me. I remember looking up at an approaching street light and knowing I had to make a decision where to turn. I thought, "if my mother were with me she would say, 'Let's pray to St. Anthony' (patron saint of finding things or lost people)." We lost something, we were lost people.
However, as I sat waiting for the light to change I further ruminated "it seems like a huge stretch to test St. Anthony by asking him to help find a car in a big city, but if I were to ask for him to help, I would let my doubts go and just turn where my instinct told me to turn."
The light turned green. I turned left and there was the parking lot.
Yes. Really. Gives me chills to think about it.
By the way, it was under the monorail. Really? None of you could think of any defining details about where you parked?
Sigh. At least my daughter posted on Facebook that we are the best parents in the world and when your mom tells you to take the bus, you should listen to her. As for having to pee, I actually made it all the way home. Another miracle?