Stuart was blissfully locked into his routines. Wake up. Eat breakfast. Make lunch for the girls. Shower and dress. Then drop off the girls at school before heading off to the office. It was comforting. He always knew which way he was heading.
On this morning everything was running smoothly. The girls had their coats and backpacks on and they were out the door. They climbed into the back seat and buckled up for safety. Stuart climbed in the driver’s seat and turned the ignition.
He turned the key again.
He looked around. Everything seemed to be alright. He tried one more time.
“What’s the matter Daddy?”
“Car won’t start.”
“Don’t panic. It’ll start. Just hold on.”
“Please please please please,” whispered Stuart.
“What’s Daddy doing?”
“I think he’s praying.”
“Daddy, I don’t think God likes Mr. Honda.”
“Shh. Let me think. Give me a second,” said Stuart. His mind was racing.
“We’re gonna be late.”
“I’ve never been late for school before.”
“Three lates means detention.”
“Daddy, I don’t want detention. Fix it.”
“Wait. Just hold on to your knot,” said Stuart.
“But Daddy, detention. I don’t want detention, Daddy.”
“We’re not late yet. And even if we are, it’s only your first,” said Stuart.
“But if we’re late again, then again…”
“Can Mommy help us?”
“No. She’s already gone to work. Be quiet. Let me think.”
“There’s a boy in my class named Caleb. He says his Daddy knows how to build a whole car.”
“Does Caleb’s Daddy have a Master’s degree in Political Science?” snapped Stuart.
In a flourish of purpose Stuart pulled the hood release and lunged out the door. He lifted the hood. The engine looked like alien biology. He jiggled a few hoses just for show. He couldn’t even locate the battery.
One of this daughters opened her door.
“Can you fix it?”
“Maybe,” said Stewart. He lied. He looked around frantically for anything that might catch his eye. He tried to think outside the box, look at it with a new perspective. Unfortunately, his creativity took a holiday.
Stuart prepared to slam the hood when he noticed the loose cable. He grabbed it, holding it up to parts where it might belong. That’s when he first discovered the battery. He slipped the loop of the cable over an empty terminal. It fit. He ran to the driver’s seat and turned the key. The engine roared to life.
The girls cheered.
“We won’t be late. No detention, right Daddy?”
“That’s right, sweetheart. I guess God loves Mr. Honda after all.”