I know you’ve heard the phase ‘Necessity is the mother of invention’. This is my tribute to all mothers who are finding creative ways to manage work and family during this pandemic. I’ve seen creative and some rather humorous ways that mothers are managing working from home while home schooling, acting as caregiver, and running an efficient recreation center within the confines of their homes.
It is not uncommon to see mothers rise to the challenge no matter how difficult the task or uncertain the outcome. I recall my oldest son was hired for his first summer job at Six Flags over Georgia. His work schedule was random, and his work hours would end at night. He was excited and I was concerned. I could not drive and therefore, did not own a vehicle. How was he going to get home at night?
As a teenager, I had no desire to drive a vehicle. I was afraid. To exacerbate my fears, a church member had a fatal accident in 1-20 while moving into the dorms at Spelman College. The young members were distraught. I vowed to use public transportation as long as it operated. That was then and now I had to transport that boy to and from work. The boy was scheduled to work the next weekend. I had 10 days to figure it out.
The next day, I left work at lunch time and went to the car dealership on the bus. I found a car, called an insurance company to insure the vehicle and signed the papers without test driving. I had maintained a learner’s permit for years. I told them I would return after work to pick up the car.
Once I was back at work, I called a friend and asked her to meet me at the dealership to drive the car to my home. Once we were off the main roads, I moved into the driver’s seat. I lurched a few times getting accustomed to the brakes. I didn’t need the gas. I needed to know how to stop. I adjusted the mirrors, turned on the blinkers and moved the car into the road.
Before I closed my eyes that night, I sat in the bed reading the papers and asking myself what I have done. Not only did I create a car payment and insurance bills, I had to get a driver’s permit in nine days.
The next day, I enlisted two confidants for driving lessons and studied the Georgia manual. My neighbors did not know that I could not drive, they thought I did not drive because I did not own a vehicle. Two days before my son’s job started, I went to the Georgia Department of Motor Vehicles and passed the driving test. The examiner sensed my urgency to pass the test and patiently waited while I maneuvered my new car close to the curb for him to grade my parallel parking skills.
Fortunately, two other neighborhood boys were working that weekend. The boys would take the train to the MARTA station short distance from our neighborhood. One of the parents decided he would pick up the boys when they worked the same schedule with his son. This afforded more time for practice. After work each evening, my nine-year-old son bravely sat in the passenger seat to co-pilot. His brother was at work. We navigated less traveled streets until I confidently pulled the vehicle into our driveway.
When my turn came pick up the boys’ I handled it like a seasoned driver. I became the sought after and reliable ride home from sporting events, band or football practice for the neighborhood boys.
Happy Mother’s Day! Do you have a similar experience? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.