A week or so after arriving in Virginia we packed up our new Toyota Rav4 (the new car Daddy gave us, according to Flynn) for a 12-hour drive to Illinois for my sister’s wedding. Andy had taken two days off work so we could feasibly manage the drive, since I had no interest in flying again for a good long while. We hadn’t planned to bring Abbey the dog, but as it turns out French language vet records from little known African countries aren’t sufficient proof of vaccination history to American pet boarding places, so into the back she went too.
We picked up Andy at the Metro after work on Thursday, and off we drove, planning to stop in West Virginia for the night.
But we never made it.
Around 10 p.m. Andy, who was driving, looked frantically into the rearview mirror and yelled something, and the next thing I knew Abbey the dog had been thrown from the back to my lap, and we were in the interstate’s median with our hazard lights on. The back of the SUV was completely smashed in and glass was everywhere, but somehow we all seemed completely fine — even the baby to be who was still kicking around cialis soft pills in my belly.
Flash forward 20 minutes and Flynn was in his own little version of toddler boy Heaven with two police cars and their flashing lights right outside the car window. After insurance information was exchanged and a police report was filed, the drunk driver who hit us was hauled off in handcuffs.
Had our car been a little smaller, had Andy’s reflexes been a little slower, had we been pushed into the semi-trailor next to us rather than into the median, had any number of other things gone a tiny bit differently… that guy’s bad decision could have had a very different impact on our family. For that reason Andy absolutely plans to travel back to rural Maryland for the dude’s court date, which the police suggested he do so the case isn’t thrown out, as annoying as that trip will be.
The immediately important thing was that we were all okay, but also important was figuring out some way to get ourselves to Illinois for my sister’s wedding now that we no longer had a functional car. With the help of good friends and their internet sleuthing we found one seedy nearby motel that took dogs, so we headed there for the night.
We were up until the wee hours — Andy on the phone with our insurance company, and me listening to Flynn ramble incessantly about the police cars while trying to convince him to go to sleep instead — but still intended to hit the road again first thing in the morning.
There was one problem with that plan, though. We were in rural Maryland, with only a handful of rental car companies within a 50 mile radius. When we called each of them early in the morning we learned that not one had a car available. So we were stranded for the day at the seedy motel, where Flynn befriended vending machines (or that monster that gives chips, as he liked to say) while Andy and I failed to dream up any promising alternate plans and just continued to hope with all hopes that someone would return a rental car soon.
Luckily, late that afternoon, someone did. We squeezed ourselves and our stuff in to the small sedan, and off we went — staying Friday night at Andy’d parents’ house in Ohio and then continuing on to Illinois in the morning; we arrived just in time for the wedding.
It wasn’t a traditional wedding. There were food trucks and caricature artists and fire blowers and lawn games. And of course, family and friends from near and far — many of whom we hadn’t seen in a very long time. Flynn got to hang out with his godparents, who brought him a pile of presents that rivaled the bride’s. He got to play with second cousins, including this one who — true story — was dressed in the exact same outfit not at all on purpose.
I guess this is the ultimate proof that our mothers both managed to successfully instill in their children a love for TJ Maxx (shirt) and Gap clearance racks (shorts). There’s much more I could and should say about the wedding but I’m already so behind on this blogging thing that I’m going to have to just hit “publish” now or else I fear I never will. Stay tuned for more about our first month stateside, including:
- Why it’s a really bad idea to let your driver’s license expire when overseas
- How it’s an even worse idea to buy a house that needs work when you’ll be looking after a toddler and will also be really pregnant
- My adjustment or lack thereof to stay at home parenthood
- Flynn’s adjustment or lack thereof to life after his beloved nanny
- Why being back in the U.S. is totally great anyway