Those could have been the lyrics flowing through my mind today as I attempted to pick my niece Ellie up at daycare. A couple of days earlier I answered my sister-in-law Gretchin’s plea for a babysitter so she could participate in a conference call at work. I felt the weight of responsibility on my shoulders as I headed off to retrieve her from daycare and a secret sense of pride in learning not only had my sister-in-law called ahead to let the daycare know that I would be picking up my niece, but I discovered that I was already on the pre-approved list to do so – had been from the get-go, my sister-in-law told me. Obviously, I was a trusted and trustworthy person, and I was on a mission.
I arrived at my sister-in-law’s on time, switched cars so I would have the vehicle with the car seat, and headed off to the daycare that I had visited only once before. I was pretty sure I had a fairly decent idea of where it was located and Gretchin had given me the street address to plug in my GPS. I shouldn’t have any problem.
I followed the gentle voice of “Mother” my name for my disembodied GPS narrator, taking a left where instructed only to find myself face to face with three bulldozers, completely blocking the road. No problem, I thought, I’ll head back into town and circle around another way. Mind you, I had no idea that there was another way, but it seemed like there should be. There wasn’t. I found myself wandering the one-way roads of the village until I began to despair. I didn’t even know the name of the daycare and by now my sister-in-law was in her meeting! When I was a little girl, my mother was late getting back from an appointment and when I arrived home from school, she wasn’t there. I was little and scared, so I wandered across the street to the neighbor’s and knocked on the door.
“My mom isn’t home I told her,” as she ushered me inside. I barely took a foot over the threshold when I realized things weren’t right. I had entered a prehistoric jungle. Draped on sofas and chairs, hanging from the ceiling and crawling on the floor were gigantic lizards. I was terrified! Years later, when I was older, I learned these were iguanas and that the neighbor raised and sold them, but then as a first-grader I was convinced I had stumbled into a monster’s lair. Was Ellie in for such a life-scaring experience if I didn’t arrive in time?
I wanted to phone Gretchin and at least find out the daycare’s name, but realized she was on her conference call by this time. Then I thought of my brother, Mark, Ellie’s dad. I dialed him at work, explaining that I wasn’t sure where the daycare was and remained on the phone as he guided me to the exact bulldozer-blocked location that “Mother” had taken me only minutes before.
“I can’t get there!” I exclaimed, but the phone had disconnected and suddenly was spouting some nonsense to me in Spanish. I tried calling Mark back only to end up stuck on some strange menu on my phone. (Let’s just say I haven’t gotten use to iOS7 yet). Mark rang me back and explained that if I was to get my niece I would have to find a way through the bulldozers. I took a deep breath, rolled down my window, stuck my head out and yelled at one of the construction workers. “I need to get my niece at school!” I said.
“School’s down that way in the village,” he answered.
Understanding dawned on his face as he motioned one of the bulldozers out of the way and revealed the Grand Canyon of holes in the road. It seemed they had removed a portion of the sidewalk and for me to get to my niece I had to slowly, ever so slowly, they warned me, drive down the abyss and climb up the other side.
If I wanted to balk I couldn’t, I was on the pre-approved list after all and I could not let Ellie fall prey to whatever the modern-day equivalent of a house full of iguanas might be, so I shut my eyes, slowly pressed on the gas and made the crossing. I survived, but as I drove forward I realized the road reached a dead end and I had yet to find the daycare.
After another call to my brother I realized I was supposed to take a right, but I didn’t see a right. I drove back meeting the bulldozers again when it became apparent that the bulldozer that had moved out of the way to let me through was now blocking the driveway to the daycare. Again, I motioned to the construction worker, who in turn signaled to the bulldozer to get out of my way.
As it did, the daycare came into view. I swear I saw a heavenly glow around it. A few minutes and a flash of my official ID later, I was given custody of my niece, who viewed the big machines -- that once again had to move out of our way to let us exit -- with glee.
“Ohh, trucks,” she said.
After a visit to the malt shop, park, several stores, the Famers’ Market, a toy store, and another park, my niece returned home more impressed by our fun-filled day than my gallant rescue attempt. My sister-in-law was equally impressed with the peaceful afternoon. None of them seemed as fazed about my tale of rescue as I was, but I knew that Gretchin had done right by putting her trust in me. I was the woman for the job. When it came to getting my niece, nothing and I mean nothing, could keep me away from her!