This is not, “You Have Officially Turned into Your Grandmother,” part 2. Mainly because your grandmother would not have entered a fast food drive-through. However, this story reminds you of her again because of her gift to be able to giggle at herself.
Your son loves to share this story with everyone, and you laugh all over again every single time. This is about parents multi-tasking and juggling way too much data in our brains. This is not, I repeat NOT, an excuse, this is fact. That being said, you and your son had seconds to grab dinner before you drop him off at the airport. As usual, your mind is constantly speeding ahead: you are a hundred steps, a hundred turns ahead in terms of times, dates and events–everything that will need to unfold in order to get him to where he needs to be, and to get you where you want to be. You need to work on this, and learn to live in the present. Sigh.
Meanwhile, dinner–quick! You and your son are in deep conversation about his travel plans and logistics. You need to make two more stops before you can hop on the highway and head for the airport. You pull into the drive-through in order to grab dinner for two to go, asap.
“We’ll have two chicken sandwiches, two fries–”
“Mom,” he interrupts you, but you rattle on.
“Hush, just a sec,” you call aside. “One lemonade–”
“MOM!” he yells. You turn and stare at him in amazement; how dare he raise his voice.
“MOM, YOU’RE ORDERING INTO A TRASH CAN!”
“What?” In your haste, you recognize the fact that you are barking orders into a garbage bin. You stare at it, and then put the car in gear and hurry along to the speaker box a few feet in front of you, and start over. Your son, at first still in shock, later begins to snicker as you start all over–this time, talking to a real live person, and not a can. Once you finish and pick up the bags and cups, and peel out of the lot, you glance over at him, and start to chuckle. You both have shared the same sense of humor for years. Soon you are both howling in laughter.
Next time you drive-through, you pay careful attention to the shape of the speaker box, and ignore the boxy trash can. And you realize that your son will bring this up at every given opportunity, of course. And that’s fine–life is too short not to have a good old-fashioned belly laugh several times a day. And life is way too short to rush through the drive-through. Life is too short to rush through, period.