As you read keep this thought in the back of your mind... "The story is about a juice box that saved the day"
This story begins weeks ago on a day that was one hundred and fifty percent unlike any day that I've ever experienced. I woke up early that morning to travel to New York City to be part of a panel of stay-at-home dads for an episode of the Katie Couric Show. A shiny black car arrived early that morning to transport me for a few hours to a world that I'd never before seen. Green rooms, backstage areas, even people styling my hair and applying makeup to my face - it was strange, fun and more than a bit exciting. When my time on television was over, I climbed back into the shiny chariot only to find an email from the National Basketball Association that featured a story about me. I read the article (written by the DOC's own Moira McCarthy) and then closed my eyes for a few minutes because I was already exhausted from the day. I needed to catch a bit of sleep on the ride home because this crazy day wasn't nearly over, I still had to sign books at a Barnes and Noble in Philadelphia that evening, like I said before... a day like no other.
So to recap the morning... Fancy black cars, Katie Couric, I met Steve Schirripa from the 'Sopranos' in the makeup room, joking in front a a live studio audience and a my name on an NBA email blast that landed in a half of a million inboxes across the country. And in a few hours I was going to get to sit in a book store and sign my book. All extraordinary stuff that no one imagines will ever happen to them, and it was happening to me all on the same day.
The book signing went great, one of the real highlights was when I met a gentleman who reads Arden's Day and his son. The best part of the night? Arden came with me to the signing. Perhaps this book writing thing will lead to more and maybe it won't, but for a few hours that night my little girl got to sit next to her dad as he signed his name in a book he wrote. You don't get too many opportunities in life to be a hero to your kids, this day was special.
As Arden and I drove home that night through a teeming rain storm, we talked about the day. She asked me about what it was like to tape a TV show and we anxiously spoke about what the vacation that we were leaving for in two days would be like. It was as we were talking about our impending trip that I saw a small group of children standing on the side of the road. I instantly wondered why they were outside in the rain and it was so late at night. Then I got my answer out of the corner of my eye when I witnessed one of the kids reaching back as if they were going to throw something. I remember thinking, "Aw fu$k...".
Bang, pop, thump, thump, bang, bang, crash...
The right side of my car was being pelted by hooligans, malcontents I tell ya... We were under attack. I stood on the side of the road staring through the rain hoping that I could see one of the little bastards, but they were gone. Arden was frightened, I was angry and the rain wasn't giving up, so I got back into the car and we went home. I stood in the rain washing my car and wondering what the light of the next day would reveal. When I woke the next day I was greeted by multiple and significant points of damage. I informed our insurance company and we left for our vacation.
Fast forward to yesterday...
This morning the insurance adjuster came to our house to assess the damage. A few minutes before the adjuster was finished, Arden wandered outside with that "just woke up" look on her face to find out what was happening. As she was fresh from her bedroom, Arden had her bag full of D-Tech with her. OmniPod PDM, DexCom receiver, MultiClix and a juice box all in a small leather purse. She set the bag down on a box in our garage and walked over to me to find out what was going on. Arden and I decided to pass the time as we waited for the gentleman's assessment by cleaning up the garage and taking the recycling down to the corner.
Soon enough the adjuster finished and I asked Arden to move out of the way so I could put my car back into the garage, but she wanted to ride with me for the ten foot trip and so she climbed into the passenger side instead.
Moments before I was joking with the insurance guy about the day that my car was attacked. I told him that I must have used up all of my allotted good karma when I found myself on TV and at a book signing all on the same day. He laughed and as I sat down in my car to put it back into the garage, I quipped through the window, "I guess the universe was rebalancing itself when those kids pelted us". Then Arden and I drove forward...
I jammed on the brakes and my stomach dropped as I remembered leaving Arden's bag on the floor when we took the recycling to the street. I backed up slowly and Arden jumped out to see what made the loud pop but I already knew it was her bag. I felt sick when I realized that I drove over her PDM and DexCom receiver. I thought I was going to throw up... But it turns out that the pelting my car took all those weeks before must have been an overcorrection, and it seems that the universe owed my a credit.
It was a juice box that exploded and acted as a warning signal to stop. Not only that but the juice was in a separate compartment so none of it got on the electronics. I was about to drive right over Arden's PDM, DexCom, MultiClix, and her bag but that little juice box happened to be on one end of the small bag while all of her gadgets were on the other. Thankfully, the juice was closer to the tire than the electronics and they remained untouched by my car's tire.
Karma ebbs, Karma flows...
Arden pulled her gadgets from the bag and placed them onto the seat that she just vacated and said, "Well... this is the first time that I don't hate those juice boxes". ––– I thought to myself, "Me too".