The other day I was driving the kids to school. Things were proceeding as they normally do: The girls were in the back bickering and nit-picking and generally doing their best to push me to the edge of my sanity before 8 AM, and I was forcing myself to breathe deeply and trying to calculate the odds on whether or not I'd be able to make it through summer break without duct-taping the kids' mouths shut.
Without warning and with nary a car in sight, I slammed on the brakes and jumped out of the car. When I returned the kids were completely and utterly still. The only audible sound was the chirp of the crickets and the occasional croak of a nearby frog. As I opened the car door I could see from the look on their faces that they were preparing for the mother-of-all-lectures. I really couldn't have planned this better if I tried. I mean, talk about shocking your kids into silence!
When the kids got home that afternoon I asked Hannah what she thought was was happening and she said, "Well, you know how you always tell us if we don't stop with all the fighting you are going to lose your mind? I thought that, well, this time we maybe went too far and you were just, like, going to freak out and run off into the woods or something."
I might have to try that sometime.
So, given Hannah's train of thought I'm sure she was floored when I hopped into the car and set this little guy on the console between the seats:
This poor, sweet, little turtle was literally trying to cross the road, and there was no way he was going to make it to the other side. He was about to become a turtle pancake.
There was no time to usher him safely to the woods as we were already running late for school, so I told the kids I'd find a safe place for him when I got home. The kids passed the turtle around for the rest of the trip and I reveled in the peace.
When we got to the school Emily took the turtle and unceremoniously plopped him into the car's cup holder. She proclaimed it the perfect turtle "car seat" and declared he would be comfy and safe there until I arrived home. The turtle was propped up on the back-end of it's shell, and I'm pretty sure he wasn't happy, so the minute Emily turned away I returned him to his spot on the console and headed for home.
I was about halfway home and singing my heart out to Boston's More Than A Feeling when something heavy fell into my lap. Having completely forgotten about the turtle I curiously glanced into my lap....
And nearly drove into oncoming traffic when I realized that I had a cranky turtle thrashing about on my thighs.
And since we shared such an intimate, life-or-death moment together I felt it only fitting that I give him a name.
I'd like you all to meet Freaker.
I named him as such because if he ever falls into a woman's lap again, I'm sure he'll freak 'er out, too.
And he's off to find another hapless victim.