My mom didn’t tell me there’d be days like this

The day began innocently enough, my hubby even made coffee before he left while we were all still sleeping.  So when this first little person woke me up, I grabbed the biggest mug we had and quickly downed a cup.  Wonderful.

Christopher’s day yesterday hadn’t left him time to get his check from work.  So anticipating the auto-withdrawl payments on their way out (gotta love those) and knowing he was overloaded with work down south again today, we set out on a trek to Marysville (30 minutes north).   Then headed south (40 minutes) to the doctor for one of the kids.  We were late but made it.  Taking four kids to the dr. is really no small task (I get all sweaty just thinking about it) but Christopher prayed us through the whole endeavor and it went well.  No concrete answers were found, which was disappointing.  Next steps were given.  Nothing too serious.

Now we were late to our next stop (20 more minutes east) to Kindermusik which is always the highlight of our day.  We missed the whole first half of class.  Bummer.  I had spent the whole drive out on the phone with doctors and insurance companies.  Getting different answers and being told my child could not be seen where I wanted (where I believe he would receive the most excellent, competent care) due to insurance.  I offered to pay out of pocket for it all, she emphatically told me still, they could not see him.

I felt helpless.  I suppose it wouldn’t have gotten to me so much had I not spent all of yesterday on the phone inquiring about life insurance and adult medical insurance.  It’s just not at all my idea of fun.  I’d rather scrub my toilets (and they are absolutely disgusting).  I remained on the phone when I dropped the kids off for class.  I got Audrey out of the car and went in to wait for them.

Class ended, the kids were so happy to have been out of the car and been with Miss Beth, whom they love.  We headed out in the very warm sun (85 degrees!) to go home.  I looked in my door.  My keys were sitting nicely on my seat.  That’s okay, I never lock my car. But today of all days, I did.  Another mom stayed till she knew the locksmith was on the way, she offered water and food and diapers.  The kids had all just snacked and the guy said he was only a minute away, so I said we were fine.

He also said it would be around $70 to unlock my car.  Yikes!  Maybe AAA would have been a good thing to have…

We found some shade and the kids were happy to run around.  I was mulling over the doctor/insurance stuff, along with the fact my mistake had just cost us a lot of money.  As Kyler ran by me, in the blazing sun, a pungent smell assaulted my nose.  A worse-than-average-what-did-I-feed-that-child? diaper was in dire need of changing. The other kids started running away from him so they could breath.  It was bad.  My diapers were of course in the locked van.

The “1 minute” turned into 5 then 10 then 15 minutes.  Now Kyler is crawling around sobbing because his skin is so raw and blistered from the dirty diaper.  Audrey wants to be held.  I am sticky and hot.  The kids have sweat dripping down their faces.  Our adventure is turning into a disaster in a few short minutes.

Kyler, in trying to relieve the pain sticks his hand down his pants and gets poop on his hand.  I have nothing to wash him with and hold out hope for the locksmith to pull in.  20 minutes now, still no sign.  Kyler finds a wad of chewed gum melting in the hot sun.  What else would a 3 year old do but try to pick it up?  Disgusting.  I send him and Rylee inside to try and clean his hands while I wait for help to come.

After 45 minutes, the man arrives to unlock the car.  I am fairly incoherent at this point, hungry, tired, emotional, distracted by the crying toddler screaming “It hurts, my poopy hurt so bad!”.  I go to change him while the guy writes the bill.  I give him my credit card since I still haven’t made it to the bank yet with the check we got this morning.

I change Kyler and leave him naked as he cries so his bum can dry a bit.  I turn around to get the receipt.

$150.  For 4 minutes of work.  There must be some mistake, they said-

Here’s where the day gets the best of me and I have a complete breakdown in the parking lot of the Boys and Girls Club.

I start weeping and trying to talk to this stranger who just popped my door open with a little tool in a matter of seconds.  I talk about my husband and how hard he works and go on and on.  While a buck naked, whimpering toddler holds my hand.  It really isn’t about the spending of the money, but the principal and again the helplessness of it all.  Of course I needed the guy to unlock my car, of course I knew it would cost something.  But $150, really?

He mutters something about not setting his prices and I, shaking and crying, take the piece of paper, pick up naked Kyler and sit in the front seat.  The rest of the kids are hushed.  They’ve rarely seen such a display from their mother.

I sob for 10 minutes.  I try to explain that it’s the combination of the whole day, money stuff always works out and it is just money after all.  They are kind.  They tell me it’s okay.  They offer to call Daddy and explain to him that the locksmith man just took all our money and that Mommy is sad.

We head for home, get the check in (not soon enough of course!) the bank and have popsicles on the kitchen floor together.  I make more doctor calls and finally get a few answers.  I know in a day or two, it won’t seem so bad and even just writing about it takes a bit of the sting away.

More than anything, I know these words to be true:

1 I lift up my eyes to the hills—
where does my help come from?

2 My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

3 He will not let my foot slip—
he who watches over me will not slumber.

I am ever so glad He doesn’t.  I need all the help I can get.



Oh, Karissa! I feel for you sooooo much! Sometimes it is so hard to understand why such days exist in such intensity but the promises in the psalm you quoted are so true! Healing hugs and prayers for peace being sent your way!!!!

Mina BIG hugs for surviving! Loved that your kids offered to call dad — so kind and thoughtful 🙂

This reminds me that I need to get one of those magnetic boxes for an extra key to hide somewhere around the car. My parents use them but never got one for myself. 🙂


I got one of those magnetic hide-a-key things after a very similar locksmith experience! It’s come in handy more than once!
Praying for you often, life is so overwhelming and I’m glad we’re not alone.


So- as the saying goes, “God never gives us more than we can handle.” When I read stories like this or hear about struggles you face as a mother of four, I am amazed. I know you are capable of incredible things, but God knows just a bit more than I do because you do get some difficult things thrown your way more than most. I hope that makes sense! You are a strong, loving, compassionate, generous woman and I am honored to say you are my sister.


Uh, yeah, Tom just put one of those magnetic things on my van because I locked the kids IN the car with it running the other day. But it was NOTHING compared to the day you have had. How could all that happen in ONE day? Seriously. Who ever heard of that ridiculous price to unlock a car?? I’m amazed you held it together as well as you did! The Psalm you wrote just leapt off the page and soothed my soul – it is so clearly real life to you. Praying for all that insurance/doctor stuff.


Oh, yeah, I’m pretty sure your mother didn’t give you advance notice because she wanted grandchildren. Hee hee! 🙂


You are so right, Kristin!


oh my. wishing you lived closer. aren’t these the days that you should come over here and have hot scones and someone else’s coffee and not have to do anything for a few hours??

i’m so sorry for such a lousy day and for the way those days tend to tear our hearts apart. it all seems so unfair sometimes. but what i love about this story is that your babies got to live it with you…they will know there will be days like these…surely rylee especially will never forget. and she will not feel so alone on the day when she is a mama…and it happens to her.

xoxo k


You are so right Kim, thank you (and thank you other kind friends :-). In fact today my sister’s car locked itself (truly, it did) with her keys inside. After we drove to get her extra key and talked about it, I asked them how God helped Dee Dee today (since we’d talked about His help yesterday). She responded, “He helped her stay calm.” unlike her mother yesterday! Caleb responded “He used US to help her!”. It was sweet.