Thursday, August 9, 2012

Male Headship Does Not Work - A Practical Example

As many of my readers now know, we went on a long vacation and BOOM! Our van engine blew on the Continental Divide in Colorado.  The Fremont Pass, to be exact.

At 12:00 PM that day, we left our campsite in Leadville and drove over the pass to Highway 70.  We wanted to see the tunnel.  As we climbed the Pass, we heard the engine start to click.  The click got louder and louder and the climb became sluggish.  Even so, we made it up and down that Pass and up the seven mile, 7% grade, to the tunnel.  The van screamed and wept the whole way.

On our way back, we were climbing the Fremont Pass the other direction and the click became unbearable.  Then, it became a scream and a grind.  I shoved the van off the road onto a gravel pad overlook.  The engine died.

If you have ever driven the mountains with car trouble - anywhere with car trouble, for that matter, you know the feeling.  The white knuckles on the steering wheel, the beating heart, the tense muscles, the leaning forward in the seat, mentally coaxing the vehicle forward to the intended destination.  Then, the heartbreak and the internal wailing when the silent murmurings have no effect and the vehicle gives up the ghost.

That emotion needs some release!

Out I jumped, kicked the front driver tire as hard as I could, stubbing my toe in the process, and then looked across the valley and yelled as loud and long as I could at the peaks beyond.

No echo returned.  My scream was swallowed up into the mist.  The kids began to whimper.

I jumped back in the car.

"Daddy, is the car dead?"

"Are we ever going to get back home?"

"Why can't you just start it and keep going?"

"What are we going to do?"

"Are we going to be stuck here forever?"

"Are we going to die?"

"I'm hungry!"

"I'm thirsty.  Daddy, I'm thirsty.  Daddy, I want water.  Daddy.  Hey Daddy.  Daddy, I'm thirsty."

The questions wove themselves into the thick atmosphere of the van, creating an unbearably choking tapestry of irritation.  I exploded.


The whimpering got louder.  I turned to Kristine and yelled, "I can't do the van thing and take care of the kids at the same time!!!!!"

But Kristine wasn't there.  In her place was an empty seat and the van door was waving in the wind.  I looked through the open window and saw her on the phone.  She was staring at me with fire in her eyes, waving off my words.

I knew what that meant - she was on a mission.  In fifteen minutes, she called her dad, who accessed the internet and found us the phone number for the repair/tow shop in Leadville, who told us they couldn't tow the van over the pass and recommended another tow on the other side of the mountain, who told us they would be there in an hour and recommended a repair shop.  In fifteen minutes she had everything taken care of.

I took a deep breath, dressed the kids in long sleeves and jeans, applied sun screen on the bare areas, took Jack down the mountain to take a number two, and basked in the glory of having a woman in charge.


  1. Beautifully written! I love it!! ;)

  2. I knew there was going to be a potty break in there somewhere, it's always my kids first problem when we are stranded anywhere. And great story!

  3. Joe, see what being an Atheist has wroth? If you were still drinking the koolaid you could have just told Jesus to fix your van supernatually.. (joking)

  4. Love this. Thanks for sharing it, and the wonderful way you always talk about your wife.

  5. haha! sounds like our family- only substitute situation for when the toilets are clogged, and you have ME on the mission. ;0) And btw my hubby is the son of a plumber, so he isn't incapable either, just really good at distracting the little one from the plunger.

    All that crap about men and women being different but equal doesn't hold water in reality- it's more like human beings are all different but equal. You can't put people into a man-made mold for long- they'll break it! Great post.