I have never been a fan of routine, but having a toddler who loves to have one, it is unavoidable to fall in the tentacles of the ordinary and the expected. I have complained so much about the lack of spontaneity in my life, that I think the universe threw me a curved ball to make me shut up.
Picture this: You are getting ready to go to Chicago to spend a lovely day and a half there with your husband and daughter and to see some family who are vacationing in the city. You pack all the necessary things you need for your toddler, which include a cooler full of snacks, sun block, a stroller, and several outfits not only for the baby, but both your husband and yourself just in case the little one spills her food on you (you know it never fails).
You fill up your car feeling confident that, since you had just taken it in for an oil change, is ready to go the distance so you get on your way. The road is great, not much traffic to battle; you pass the last toll road and start admiring the greatness of the city landscape when all of the sudden, without any warning, your brand new car starts smoking and smelling like burnt rubber. Could it be possible that your 2-month-old car is slapping you in the face and failing on you? You doubt for a second, but when your husband steps on the gas and the car won’t move, you know that in fact you are in a pretty bad situation.
You try to remain calm, after all, there is roadside assistance, right? Ah! but you forget that is Saturday afternoon and even though they can tow your car to a dealership to get fixed, this won’t happen until Monday. The heat starts bothering your 8-month pregnant self and your toddler; your husband begins to show signs of nervousness after the man at the store where he went to get water for the car tells him that we shouldn’t stay in the area because it is dangerous; the people at the dealership where you got the car are all gone for the day so you cannot even yell at them to at least vent a little. Your outlook isn’t the best.
After a few minutes of adding water to the car, your husband gets back in and drives the remaining 20 minutes of the trip to the hotel. You luckily make it safely but begin to wonder what is going to happen and how you could be so darn unlucky. At this point you both realize that you are already in Chicago, that you have enough clothes to get you through the weekend and that the whole family could really use a serendipitous little vacation away from the routine.
All of the sudden, the whole situation isn’t that bad. If that little Ford traitor was going to fail you at some point, it was better to be in Chicago than in Gary, IN or in the middle of the highway. And hey! at least you had some family to hang out with those days that you were staying, right? And did I mention that we were all fine and together?
The car incident, although unpleasant, forced us to have a little fun in the city and to realize that, so long the 3 of us are together, those unexpected events could turn into the type of spontaneity that makes life interesting.