Why the Hole that My 12-Year-Old Drove Into My Garage Is Not a Bad Thing

Sometimes the brightest people do the dumbest things.

This last weekend, I started my Sunday at a running pace. Getting coffee for the Church Parent’s Meeting had me out of bed early and going at a run. My day was rolling. My daughter got herself from Sunday School to church and I found her in our pew. My husband and son arrived before the service started. Bingo. We were off at a great start on a Sunday.

We left church a little early so my hubby could catch an international flight. On our way home, we saw an injured bird. The kids decided to get a box and walk back to get the bird. Also on the walk home, my daughter and I noticed our neighbor’s porch and had an idea to get them mums while they were out of town as a surprise. They had had a family loss about a year before. It felt like a good project idea that my daughter and I could do together. We sent off my husband to catch his plane to Spain.

We were mentally ready to hop in the car to get mums when I realized, of course, I had left it at church.  Also at the same time, cars started to arrive to drop off Homecoming Float building supplies.

We had volunteered to be the 10th Grade Homecoming Float Building house again for our son’s class. The Chief Mom Kristen arrived with tarps, tents, tables and chairs. I was excited to help set up. Meanwhile, my daughter wanted to go back and get the bird. There was a shoe box in the back seat of the car. I tossed her the keys so she could walk back and get THE BOX…not the car from church.

“I’ll drive it back over,” she said joking.

“Right is gas. Left is the brakes,” I said joking back. She is a super-smart, A+ student. She would NOT need to be told NOT to drive the car, right?  

She walked to look for the bird while my son and I helped set up. After a while she came back unable to find the bird. After a while the set-up crew was done and it was mum time. I went back to church to get the car.

After I got home, I pulled into the drive and left it running with the keys in it. Dumb. The kids were playing in the back yard. I ran into the house to get my tea and purse.

Meanwhile my 12-year old A+ daughter came over to the car and, I believe, for a joke, put the car into drive.

She drove it into our hundred-year-old garage.

I ran out and she jumped out of the car crying. She was alright. My son was safe and had been out of the way as well. Phew. I was so relieved that I was not mad at the hole and crumbling bricks.

By now, my husband was probably already in the air. We called our dear family friend from church, George who is very kind and knows everyone in town. He came right over, helped us back it out and had his masonry friend on the phone within minutes. 

“Can I get it fixed before Thursday when my husband gets home?” I asked.

“Maybe,” said George. He and my son put 2x4s under the beams to shore it up.

My daughter was a little upset and cried more than I have ever heard her cry. She was very remorseful and called herself dumb. No, I told her. Never call yourself dumb. It was my dumb mistake to joke with you and to leave the car on in the driveway. We are very blessed that she is OK and my son too.

We skipped going to the store. It was just another idea on an already full plate. Good enough is good enough. We did not need to create for ourselves another errand. We spent the afternoon hanging lights that we had from Christmas around the back yard for float building this week. (The more light we have for the teenagers the better.)

Perhaps down the road, this will make us be more cautious as we drive around town. Perhaps it will also keep us from

putting too much on our plate. All in all, there’s probably a good lesson in it somewhere. Perhaps we just had to put a hole in our garage to make us slow down and appreciate life.

Margee Moore is a mother of two, marketing professional and old house fan. She is the author of Sleeping with the Laundry.     

The fixed garage planted with some nice selections from Gertz Garden Center in Lockland, Ohio. 

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