My brother and his wife have had to go out of town - at the exact same time we needed a place to stay between houses. So we've got their whole house to ourselves, full of toys and treats and everything we need. We haven't needed to unload anything from the van or trailer, just came in with our suitcases and made ourselves at home.
Their house is big, but they have a super short driveway - er, parking spot. From curb to garage door, it's exactly the length of the 15-passenger van I'm driving. Dad backed it in, and I pretty much planned on leaving it there all week. I'm a fairly confident driver but not when my mistake would ruin R&A's new garage door.
Mom and Dad left yesterday.
I don't know what we'd have done without them. For a month they worked so hard and put up with us at our worst and most stressed out and loved us and made us laugh and cheered for our kids and babysat and took us out to eat and loaded up boxes and the trailer and our hearts with steady love and hard work.
It was hard to say goodbye. I woke up horrified that I had slept in, leaving them to pack up while caring for my kids, and I kissed them goodbye half-dressed and uncoffeed.
Before he drove away, Dad slid an anvil behind the van's back tire.
Today was rainy and grey and Kachi wasn't feeling well and before lunchtime everyone had gotten hurt at least once. So this afternoon I loaded them all up in the van and we took a long prowly drive, bought coffee and ice cream and visited Patrick at work. And then I drove home and backed that big old van into that tiny little spot because my dad had made it possible for me to park. My back tire bumped the anvil and knew I was back as far as I could go before scraping the garage, and just far enough off the curb to not get hit. Done.
And that one act, that thoughtful and kind gesture with the anvil, is so much more than just a parking aid. It's the way my parents have loved me my whole life. Believing in me and helping me to do what I don't think I can.
If I were leaving my kids in the same situation, I think I might have slid the anvil in front of the tires, to keep the van safe and stationary. I probably would have suggested they stay home for the week until they could park it in their new driveway.
But my parents believe in me.
And help me.
Even when they're gone.
I love you, mom and dad.