One block from home, nearly 2pm. I’ve hit my pre-naptime wall of energy and ability to carry on conversation – ready for Ali to go to sleep and me to not have to say a word for a few hours and recoup, all while getting work done, of course.
Not that Ali’s been any trouble – but it’s just that my body has adapted to getting a break every day at naptime, and so it starts shutting down a few minutes before it should. Doesn’t yours?
That’s what I thought
One block from home. I slow down for the stop sign, then keep going.
I look out of the corner of my eye. Something is to the right that has never been there before.
A police car.
I might as well go ahead and pull off. I know what he’s doing there. Sure enough, I see the full array of primary colored flashing lights heading my way.
One block from home.
I pull over to the side of the road.
“Mommy! What are you doing?!?”
“There’s a police car behind me. He wants me to stop.”
“I don’t want you to stop! I want you to stay on the road!”
”I have to obey the police man.”
I wrestle my license out of the stupidly difficult sleeve in my wallet, and am all ready. He’s still in his car, taking his sweet time.
Ali continually repeats that she wants me to stay on the road.
Mr. Police is still showing no sign of getting out of his car – I’m assuming he’s running my tag. How long of a criminal record do I have?!
Ali continues to question my decisions, and I remember how every time I slow down quickly, she asks me if I’m slowing down because a policeman is behind me, and start hoping that she doesn’t say something to that effect to Mr. Police, if he ever decides to get out of his car.
“Mommy! I want to go home!!!”
“I know baby – so do I – but the police man wanted us to stop. We have to wait on him.”
Wait, wait, wait some more. I feel myself aging from the stress and the agonizing wait – somewhat akin to being a kid and waiting in my room for my Mom to come spank me.
Seriously – how long can this take? Is he calling backup to help with my seriously dangerous self and my oh-so-threatening three-year-old?
I start reminiscing about my first speeding ticket, right after I turned 17. I was gifted with it in no-man’s-land Alabama on my way home from a family camping trip. To prevent my insurance from going up, I went back to no-man’s-land Alabama for my court date, dressed in my nicest suit and with my Dad in tow.
Everyone else in court that day was bafflingly inappropriate, such as the guy who was there on DUI charges that showed up wearing house slippers and a t-shirt that said “DUI – Dean of the University of Intoxication”.
Anyway, the judge let me off without a word of defense, most presumably because I didn’t come in wearing a t-shirt mocking his justice system.
I’m jolted back to my current situation…“Mommy! Please quit stopping! I want to go home!”
I look in my rearview mirror. He’s still sitting in his car – he’s – what? He pulls back onto the road.
He pulls up next to me – I roll down my window.
He says quickly as he keeps driving,“I’ve got to go answer a call. Be sure to stop next time!”
“I will – umm….thanks!”
I thank God (and the criminal that needed chasing down worse than I did) several times under my breath and start driving.
“But Mommy, he said to STOP!!!!! I want you to stop!! Why are you driving?”
“NEXT time – he said to stop NEXT TIME.”
“Ooooh…next time. Be sure to stop next time, Mommy. I wanna go home.”