The time I was wrong…

After a long morning of unfortunate events, Joe and I took the girls to breakfast while we awaited our long afternoon of unfortunate events.

It was a crisp 47 degrees today in my little suburb of Seattle. Joe, the girls and I were waiting at the mechanics for them to right a wrong that happened over the weekend. The mechanic’s shop is the equivalent of a concrete shack that you may see on a Steven King film. That’s okay though because there was a bible on the coffee table and “The Price is Right” on the t.v. Sofia had a chance to make her reading goals for school, and I had a chance to showcase my “grocery shopping” skills by pointing out how many times I guessed the correct price.

Once the icicles started to form on out eyelashes, we figured “Let’s go get some breakfast and hope they are finished with the car by then.” Off we went to “The Villiage Inn” which is really just a better version of Denny’s. Good diner food, good portions, and great prices. Plus, they had coffee and heat.

We placed our order pretty quickly. As I was pouring cream and three equals into my piping hot cup of coffee, I noticed Gracie had “the look.”

“Gracie, do you need to go to the restroom?”

“Yes, please.”

“Do you want me or Sofia to go with you?”


I take Gracie to the restroom, let her do her thing while I scroll through Facebook waiting for her. While we were in there, a worker comes in and starts cleaning the sink and mirror. We say a quick “Hello” and then I ask Gracie “Are you okay?”

Gracie is finishing up, I am still on Facebook and the lady is wiping down the sink area. Then, the stupid nationwide text from Trump comes in. It was loud and piercing, much like the Amber Alerts, but truth be told, I could not even read the damn thing because it happened so fast.

Gracie comes out of the restroom and goes to the side of the sink where the lady is not working. She washes her hands but is uncertain what to do next because the lady is standing directly in front of the paper towel dispenser. The lady, I believe, sees Gracie a bit confused and moves out of the way, while showing Gracie the paper towel dispenser. The restroom is only so big, so once Gracie dries her hands, she is now looking for the trash can, which, the lady is now standing in front of. Gracie and the lady switch sides, I am asking Gracing “Are you okay” and Gracie cannot figure out how to use the trashcan. It is one of those little ones where you use your foot to press on the lever which then opens the lid. I talk her through it, tell her “Good job” and the lady tells us “Have a nice day.”

Once Gracie and I leave the restroom, she looks at me and says “You talked to me like I am a baby. I am 13, I think I can figure out how to use the trashcan!” Immediately, I start laughing. I mean, she is right and I probably went a little overboard on the whole “making sure she is okay thing.”

At this point Gracie and I are walking back to the table, Joe and Sofia see us, and can clearly see we are laughing. Just then, as we are in the middle of the restaurant, my phone rings. I know it is so tacky to answer a phone in the middle of any restaurant, but you guys, I had to! It was the mechanics and I had to know what was going on with the car.

Let me paint you a picture. A crowded restaurant with the retired elderly crowd sitting around enjoying their eggs, bacon and orange juice. Then, you have my family. Specifically, me, trying to maneuver my way through the tables to make it back to mine, while talking to the mechanic on the phone. “Sorry, excuse me, so sorry!” Gracie following me clearly embarrassed and a bewildered Joe and Sofia looking on.

The mechanic was going to do one last thing on the car and then give us a callback, so we were still good on time. I get off the phone with the mechanic at the same time we make it back to the table. Gracie sits down and exhales a sigh of frustration, while I sit down and wonder if I should order a mimosa.

Sofia: Umm, did something happen? I have a feeling something happened in the bathroom.

Joe looks at Gracie then back to me.

Gracie is giving me the evil eye. “Do you want to tell them or should I?!”

I look at Gracie, not quite sure what I should say, so I figured I would let her take the lead on this one.

I take a sip of my coffee at the exact moment Gracie tells Joe and Sofia, with an air of frustration mind you “MOM TOLD ME GOOD JOB IN THE BATHROOM!”

After that, everything happened so fast.

Joe and Sofia start to laugh. “Oh my God mom, really?”

I start to laugh while spitting out my coffee and Gracie is sitting there just as proud as can be that she was able to envoke so much laughter from off of us.

Sitting there shaking his head while laughing, Joe says “Jen, you didn’t..”

I am cleaning up the coffee that is now all over my shirt “It’s not like I told her “good job” for using the bathroom, I told her good job for throwing the paper towel in the trash!”

Again….more laughter.

So, here I am, officially proclaiming that yes, I was wrong. I need to remember Gracie is a beautiful, smart, feisty 13 year old who is coming into her own. I need to take a little step back and give her room to fly because she will. She will fly and as her eyes are on her future, I will be right behind her (in a safe distance) keeping my eyes on her.

gracie mechanics




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