I was driving Luke and Lane to preschool with Elle along for the ride. About 11 seconds after we pulled out of the driveway, Lane announced that she wanted a doll to take with her to school. No doll in the car. I determined that we were already on our way and that she would have to play with the dolls in her classroom.

Commence Lane losing. Her. Mind. Bashing the seat in front of her with both heels. High pitched screams that would make you think one of her arms spontaneously detached.

I ripped the steering wheel over and stopped the car on the steepest hill between our house and their school. I stomped the e-brake, threw my door open, and flew out my door, preparing to give Lane some godly wisdom about her choices. The incline of the street brought my door screaming back and the corner caught me right in the back of the calf. Like a gun shot. Mom down.

Bent over in the middle of the street, trying to catch my breath, sweating, spewing unsavory sentiments, I felt practically rabid.

I limped around and opened her door, breathless, and commenced a conversation with Lane between my pained panting. Trying to get words out while I groaned.

By this point, Lane was perfectly calm and looking at me like how I imagine she will look at me when she’s 15. (Geesh, Mom, you are so lame.) Which, in fact, I was. Rendered lame by that {expletive of your choice} door.

All three of my kids looked at me as if I was the one who had lost my mind. Even Elle had taken her fingers out of her mouth at was staring at me aghast.

And then Luke says what everyone is already thinking: “Mommy, you’re kind of scary.”

Forgoing the lecture, I closed their door, limped back to my side of the car and waited by my door for a minute. Breathing. Breathing. Breathing. In these situations, that’s just about all a person can do.

Then I climbed back in the car, released the brake and kept on driving. Because, after all, we still had to get to preschool.

If your day today is feeling like this in any way—like you’re only a few hours in and you’ve already taken a car door corner to the calf—just know that you’re not alone.

Let’s all take a few moments and B.R.E.A.T.H.E.


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