Close Call

You know how when two airliners come within a hair of colliding in mid-air? Even if nothing really happens, no one gets hurt, and everyone continues on their merry way, it’s still a major screw up, right? Someone, the air traffic controller, one of the pilots, both of the pilots, the ground crew, someone fucked up big time.

That’s kind of how I feel about this morning. Our day went on after the critical error, but I think some sort of review board needs to convene later today to discuss the incident, and talk about strategies to prevent future emergencies.

My husband is a fitness fanatic. He gets up at zero dark hundred every morning to work out downstairs. That’s what he does while I deal with the three-ring circus of waking kids up, getting them breakfast, brushing teeth, clothing drama, making sure homework is in backpacks, making lunch, and inevitably trying to fend off some ridiculous meltdown.

Today’s crisis involved a misunderstanding that happened when Alex crawled into bed with me at 6:00 in the morning. He excitedly asked, “Is Halloween tomorrow?” I said yes, we talked about what his friends were dressing up as for Halloween, and he fell back asleep for like ten minutes. Then he got up and told David, who was getting ready to leave, “Happy Halloween!” Then he woke up Justin, and said, “Happy Halloween!” As we were getting dressed, he said, “I’m so excited today is Halloween!”

“Tomorrow is Halloween,” I corrected.

Fire up the seismograph because the earthquake rumblings are starting, and by the time all is said and done, this thing is going to register at least a 7 on the Richter scale. “YOU TOLD ME TODAY WAS HALLOWEEN!!!!”

“No, I said it was tomorrow.”

“You said tomorrow was today!!!”

“What? How can tomorrow be today? It’s ok, Halloween is tomorrow, just one more day. When you wake up it will be Halloween,” I said, realizing that nothing I say at this point will contain what is happening.

“I already woke up. YOU TRICKED ME!!! You’re a horrible parent, you can’t trick me and say it’s Halloween when it’s not. I want Halloween to be TODAY!!!!”

This went on for some time. Things were thrown. Alex proclaimed that he wasn’t going to school. Justin got caught in the crossfire, which resulted in retaliation from both sides. Poor Penny was sitting on the bed, hoping to go back to sleep for a while, looking at us like we were all crazy. Again. Finally, after a good fifteen minutes of drama, I managed to calm Alex down by giving him a hug, and explaining that I was sorry that he misunderstood what I said, but everything would be all right. He relented, let me help him get dressed, and was ready to go brush his teeth.

At this point, Barry came upstairs.

“Good morning, guys!” he said cheerfully.

“Tomorrow is Halloween!!!”

I froze, shivers going up my spine, hoping Alex had truly come to terms with the fact that Halloween was indeed tomorrow. No visible reaction from him. Crisis averted, but that plane came about 15 feet from shearing off our wing, and protocols need to be put into place before a tragedy occurs. Next time we won’t be so lucky.

© Jennifer Alys Windholz, 2013

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