I'm sure by now you have seen the story about the mother who literally dumped her 10 and 12 year old daughters out of the car. Upon reading the story, I immediately called my Mom to fill her in on it, and well... laugh.
My parents divorced when my brother and I were 7 and 9 (respectively). My mother threatened numerous times to leave us in various places after John Mark and I got on her nerves. Being the divorcee of a minister with a 9-year old (going on 30) and a 7-year old boy (let's just acknowledge that for what it is) would be enough to have any grown woman committed. How my mother managed through those difficult years, with ridicule from church people, frustration from family, dealing with her own turmoil of a crumbling marriage, and of course, raising JM and I, is a true miracle in and of itself.
But... it also made me think of a little incident that happened two days after I got my driver's license. My birthday is in December, and was 3 days before we got out for Christmas break. Getting my license was a huge deal! It mean independence! It meant freedom! It meant growing up! Unfortunately, it also meant that I was now the second official chauffeur. I had to take my brothers to school. ARG. I was supposed to get my grandmother's car (a baby blue 1989 Buick LeSabre), but it needed to be serviced, so I had to wait until the weekend. In the meantime, I drove my Mom's Navy Blue 1987 Chevrolet Caprice, AKA, the Big Blue Tank. (Seems I have a theme with big cars, no?) Well, being the official grown-up, I was super-duper excited to drive to school, but my fare... was a PUNK. He wanted to mess with the radio. I was a super-prude, so I listened to NOTHING but Christian music (J93.3!), but John Mark wanted to hear the Devil's music. Sufficed to say, there was biting on the way home from school that first day over the radio. Did I mention how mature we were?
I was determined to win the second round! The ride is was pretty easy, except that JM wanted to leave his breakfast trash in my car instead of throwing it away. School... well I have NO idea what transpired that day. I did, however, stay until most of the cars left the parking lot because the big car? It was hard to park and backout easily. If you know me now, you know that I still stink at parking. Some things never change. We headed home, and before we were even out of the parking lot, the Radio Wars started again. It felt like the longest ride home. I would set the station; he would change it. I would change it back; he would change it again. Over and over and OVER again. I told him that I wished he could walk home or ride the BUS! I would change it back; he would change it again.
When we got to our subdivision, I stopped the car and told him to GET OUT. He could walk the rest of the 1/2 mile home. I was furious, and I was going to prove my point.
As I started to pull away, I heard a loud thud come from under the car. My heart hit my knees, and my feet slammed on the brakes. I jumped out of the car to find my brother laying on the road.
In that moment, I thought I had killed him. All of the trouble of the radio faded away instantly at the thoughts that my pettiness had hurt JM. He came to, and started crying, and Billy and I loaded him in the car. We drove the 1/2 mile home in silence, then carried him from the car to his bed.
I was panic-stricken. I immediately started calling my mother, and in those days, getting a hold of her was no easy task. After 20 minutes of pacing the house, checking on JM, and dialing my mother, I finally got her.
Tearfully and hysterically, I told her that I hit JM with the car. I was crying and was loud and didn't ever want to drive again. I needed her to come home immediately and take him to the E.R. (becuase I wasn't driving him there), and punish me to the fullest extent.
And about that time, John Mark picked up on another phone and started laughing. Maniacally laughing about how it was all it was a prank.
I have never wanted to kill him as badly as I did then.
As it turns out, it was all a big joke that he and Billy schemed up, with me as the punch line and recipient.
But in lieu of the story of this lady, I can sympathize with her COMPLETELY.