Gray Hair Souvenirs

I've never once colored my hair. Now I'm seeing, especially after a hard day of dealing with whatever blankety-blank came up, gray popping out like little souvenirs of life.


I earned one of them today when I told a certain child not to touch things with dirty hands, and that child responded by saying, "I know, Mo-o-o-o-m!" all while touching the door jamb with dirty hands. One gray-hair souvenir for today.


Another was getting lost at Purdue University.


I normally have a good nose for directions, and I certainly don't want Miss Smarty-Pants on the maps app telling me where to go. So, after an orthodontist's appointment this morning with Kara in Lafayette, I set out to find a certain fast food chain restaurant in West Lafayette that she wanted to try, and which I saw very clearly on the map.


Either a drunk laid out those streets, or a 4-year-old just scribbled on paper and called it a city plan.


I realize terrain is a huge part of city planning, but West Lafayette is just ridiculous. Just call it Little Nashville. No streets make sense.


After wandering around, going on some streets I did know, others I didn't, we finally pulled over (thrice) and consulted the map app--without Miss Smarty Pants--and got back on a real road again.


We did find that restaurant we sought, but I was so hot under the collar by then that I refused to stop anywhere in that God-forsaken spaghetti bowl.


The adventures weren't all the way over, though, for the morning.


Dog-n-Suds was named as the new place to go by Kara. Good. I know where that is.


Guess what? Today was their first day open! Yay for them; bad for us. We had to get Kara back to school, and I'd already spent too much time wandering around Purdue like a lab rat in a maze.


At this point, like it or not, McDonald's was just going to have to do. As I was turning left under those golden arches, Kara suddenly noticed Taco Bell on the right and wanted to go there. It was across several lanes of traffic.


Nope. I'm pulling the mommy card and making the executive decision not to get yanked around anymore if I can help it.


There were only 15-20 cars in the drive-through (yes, I know it's supposed to be misspelled) at McDonald's, and as frustrating as that normally would be, I was glad for a few minutes to collect my wits, calm down, and just remember that every day has something to make it interesting. Not fun, exciting, or wonderful all the time, just interesting.


Wasting a tank of gas getting lost at Purdue? I think that adventure counts for 2 or 3 or 30 souvenirs.


One good thing about Lafayette: I happened upon a free car wash, which the car badly needed, with the gas fill-up we had. As wonderful as that nice surprise was, I think car washes will just have to wait a few more weeks.


Here is a picture shortly after the car wash, the kind with rotating, sloppy-wet brushes whacking at the car body. No dirt roads or backwoods driving on the way home either. This is just good, honest, winter dirt.

dirty car
Just forget car washes for right now.

And one last gray hair souvenir: Kal called me in a slight panic while I was away for a bit.


Mr. Bunny, Leo the bunny, had hopped up onto the dining room table and shredded the paper napkins that had once been standing so neatly in the holder. Kal's voice clearly anticipated my coming unglued about a bunny on our table.


Instead, I just said to clean it up and laugh about it. We can't un-chew the napkins now.


It felt like a win for me to keep my cool about an animal hopping around on a surface intended for food activities.


But on a more somber tone, I take pause to think how many times I have lost my cool over something insignificant, and my children have just come to expect that. (Blush and sigh.)


So this was just a sampling of the gray-hair souvenirs I earned today. There will be many more. That's just life.