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Coffee Break with Liz and Kate » Headline, Read Full Report »

Have you ever noticed that when things are good, as a parent, you can rank right up there with the bffs of the world. But when things are bad, you’re suddenly enemy No. 1?

Let’s just say I’m currently Enemy No. 1 on my daughter’s list through no fault of my own.

It seems her car has a slight problem (at least that’s how the women among us would likely term it). It’s running super hot and leaking a fluid. Which wasn’t on my daughter’s list of things to take care of last night with a double-header softball game four counties away.

So I took the car for a spin before she left. And when the hot/cold gauge (does it have a real name? Oh, what does it matter) goes to hot after a couple of miles, I feel pretty confident that we’ve got a problem brewing.

“You can’t drive this car,” I’d said.

“What am I supposed to do? I have ball games and if I’m not there, the   whole team will have to forfeit because they won’t have enough players.”

What I really wanted to say was that the lack of players was a planning problem – that the team needed more than the bare minimum of players to begin with. What if someone got the flu or was abducted by aliens or … what if someone’s car broke down on the way? But I didn’t.

Instead I did what I do. I attempted to fix things. In fact, I   outdid myself. What I discovered was that she was out of that radiator cooling stuff.  I think. Because I couldn’t really read through her opaque tank. So I ran to the closest auto parts store with the leaking product from the car on a paper towel.

After explaining the story, I left with 2 bottles of the coolant and directives stating I must NOT open that one little cap if the car was hot or warm or it would explode and I would be sorry. Unfortunately I wasn’t sure exactly which cap they were referring to. Nor was I sure which tank the coolant went into.

But I was taking this one for the team, I figured. Learn something about cars, I told myself. I started making calls, too. To Bert (Summer’s husband), my brother and my dad. They all seemed to concur that there was something wrong. Go figure. Bert and Dad even agreed the problem could be one of three things, from simple to “I don’t really want to know this” problems. Meanwhile Hannah talked someone crazier than I to drive her to her games as her car sits un-drive-able.

There is solace to be found. One day, she’ll have a daughter of her own. And said daughter’s car will overheat. Her daughter will be a little snit and blame Hannah, while Hannah will feverishly look for a way to fix the problem. And then Hannah will call me. And I’ll tell her what my dad told me: “I’m glad that’s not my daughter.”

And the curse will be complete :-)


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