My surprise visits never turn out well. The Mechanic is never where he's supposed to be when I attempt to surprise him. I guess you could say I'm very successful at surprising him, a little too successful.
A little preface to this story. While the Mechanic was a student in Chattanooga and we were engaged, I did not go visit him. It was a big city and my parents didn't want me driving down there. (A little note about my parents. 5 hours was a big trip to them. And my mom almost never drove long distances. It was a big deal for her to drive to Knoxville from Kingston. On trips, my dad did 99.9% of the driving; when my mom drove, my dad was really sick and probably needed to be in the hospital. No, I'm not kidding. She did not travel alone; I think she took me on a bus alone once as a toddler. Maybe the experience of traveling with a toddler scarred her for life.)
Not visiting him was a bad thing. A really bad thing. So I made the decision that this time, I was going to visit my husband. In the big city. I decided to surprise him at church, because he was consistently attending the same church and because the area he lived was a bad area. I did not care to witness any drug deals or get in the middle of a gang territory fight. I figured Father's Day would be a good time, since that was the weekend he wouldn't be up here.
Well, he thought he might get an interview on Monday, which he did, so he came up. There went my idea of surprising him with the girls on Father's Day. And I told him this.
So yesterday rolls around. While I was cleaning the car because the girls took an exceptionally long nap, I decided to surprise him this weekend instead. I figured he wouldn't see it coming since I had planned on coming last weekend; it would be like me to just say "oh well" and not bother.
I look up the church website (I'd conveniently held onto the bulletin he
showed me last week while telling me why I'd really like this church so
I'd have the exact name) to get the service time, double check that
they have a nursery, and get the address. I write down my directions to the church and back, pack the toy bag, food bag, diaper bag, clothes bag, purse, CD's, camera, etc. I label all sippie cups and bottles since I figured this nursery was a little bigger than any we've been in before. I put the kids to bed and tell Ladybug that we're going to go surprise DaDa at church tomorrow in Georgia.
This morning, at the crack of dawn, I load up the kids in their pj's and cruise down the highway. It was a country highway most of the way, not bad driving at all. Then I got on the interstate; still not too bad. Until the lanes start multiplying. Exponentially. I'm okay with three lanes. Maybe four. Any more than that I start to get nervous. Seven. That is way past my comfort zone. Add to this I'm flying without a GPS and without another adult to help spot my exit, and you had me white-knuckled and doing some deep breathing because I could feel my throat constricting.
I don't like big cities. Those of you who live in Atlanta, you can keep it. Given a choice between a place like Atlanta and a podunk town like this where the electric company doesn't even accept plastic, I'll take the podunk town.
Thankfully, my directions were accurate and easy to follow; I only missed one turn and that simply landed me in the parking lot of the apartment complex down the street from the church. I backed into the back side of the parking lot so that when the Mechanic pulled in, he wouldn't immediately see TN license plates with our little two baby/two dog stick family and know we were there. Dressed the girls in the back of Patty the Pilot (gosh I love that vehicle!) and walked into church with plenty of time to spare for a potty stop.
Then we registered for the nursery. Hehehe. I felt like country mouse at a city church. I loved it, don't get me wrong, but I felt a bit like a fish out of water. Thankfully there were many helping hands to hold babies and walk me through scanning my drivers license and typing in my kids' info, then slapping stickers on their backs so they could be identified. Ladybug was to be in room 7, and yes, there were kids in the previous six rooms, and a few rooms after that. Small church, but TONS of kids. That's the most pregnant women I think I've ever seen in one place, outside of an OB/GYN office or BabiesRUs.
Ladybug and I sat down in one of the back rows; the Mechanic can't get over his back-row Baptist ways, and with a squirmy child sometimes that's best. We are greeted by a few people, and then the worship team assembles. And the Mechanic isn't here yet. Not a big deal, he's running late probably. Gives me a chance to give him grief over my being able to get two children 140 miles on time and him not able to get himself 10 miles on time. Then the lights flicker. And he's not here. Then we pray and begin singing. And he's not here.
At this point, I do the unthinkable. I text, in church.
Me to him: Please tell me you're going to be in your normal church today.
Him to me: No, I'm with the D's @ Perimeter. Why?
Me to him: You have GOT to be _ me. I'm at Christ Church. I hate you right now.
His response? "Oops."
I did manage to focus on the worship service, which was really good, and then the Mechanic drove to the church parking lot so we could go eat together. Not quite what I'd planned, but at least we got to see him.
And I have earned several weeks of no complaining about anything. =)