This afternoon I was at a picnic at my daughter’s school. There is a new girl in the kindergarten class whom I had met earlier in the week and my daughter of course dragged her right over to sit down with us with her parents in tow. We all had plates of food but did not see where there were any beverages. The catering company had not brought any beverages and it appeared that nobody at the school had yet been informed of this dilemma. Knowing that I was seated with the most impatient, and probably most dehydrated little girl ever to walk the earth I thought it would be best to run right into the field house with some cash. I headed straight for the one and only vending machine in the building and pumped it full of dollar bills while pressing “56” until I had what I thought to be enough bottles of water. I reached down to gather my loot but the door would not budge. I peered into the machine, and there I saw it, a lone bottle of water lodged upright among all of the bottles of water. There it stood, like a big middle finger asking “are you thirsty?”
I jumped down on all fours and started ramming my hand into the door trying to get it to budge. As I was doing this I felt a presence around me. I looked up hoping that it was in fact the hand of God reaching down with a blast at that little black door keeping me from taking my rightful place as water-bringing hero. It was not the hand of God, it was the new girl’s Mom, looking down at me on all fours fighting with a vending machine. Great! I realized at that moment that I probably should have just waited outside with the rest of the families for someone to bring water from the cafeteria like a normal person, but now I was all in with the electronic water dealer. The new girl’s mom didn’t run away. In fact, she crouched down with me and saw that big middle finger telling us “no water for you!”
God didn’t send a blast of fire, he sent an angel! “I think we are going to have to break that bottle that’s standing up” she declared. We both started pushing the door as hard as we could, but all the bottle did was wiggle at us “uh uh, uh uh”. At least it was moving. We decided that maybe we could get it to fall over if we could just shove something long in through the side of the door. Luckily we were in the cafe which had drawers packed full of kitchen utensils. I found a spatula and got to work shoving it through the door attempting to dislodge the bottle but all it did was sway a little to the side. No problem, my angel was back with a pitchfork. She had found a barbecue fork among all the other gadgets. I grabbed the fork and skewered that bottle like a chunk of raw meat, spraying its contents all over the inside of the machine and up the arm of my dress. We had slaughtered the beast and the door swung open. We collected our bottles and as we did I saw my angel’s face looking at me with that look of “oh poor sweet child” as she pulled the last of the remaining six bottles out of the bottom of the machine. Spacial relations is clearly not my thing. We destroyed the evidence of my mishap with about twelve feet of paper towel and beat feet back to the picnic.
I didn’t get to run back as the hero showering water on all of my fans, but I did get to laugh with another Mom who could see that I was just doing my best with limited abilities. I saw her talking to a lot of the other Moms that day and am confident she won’t be pulling her daughter out of school after witnessing my ineptitude. I have visions of our daughters standing in front of that vending machine after a lacrosse game ten years from now, the contents pouring out of the doors without having to put any cash in. That bad boy better remember the moms who told it who’s boss.