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In Hot Pursuit Of…

Making the Merry in Christmas

Every Christmas season I find myself in hot pursuit of something. It used to be the latest doll that the girls had to have. We’ve moved beyond that stage, (I could very well start feeling sorry for myself), as a new age has definitely begun. Luckily, I can still make sure Christmas is merry as this year I found myself in hot pursuit of something much bigger; and this time, if it wasn’t a truck, well, two trucks, actually (and we’re not talking toy trucks here).

But I always want to jump ahead, so let’s take it from the beginning. I was just getting out of a parking spot with my oldest in the car with me. It was ridiculously crowded. It seemed like I was going to be stuck in my tight spot forever. “If only we could get out of here.” I still had to pick up my other daughter from school and cars were blocking me from every angle.

A man, who had pulled in and just wanted to park, saw a woman in a similar predicament so he left his car in the middle of the parking lot and got out of his car to help her leave. I just stayed in my spot not wanting to draw attention to the fact I was stuck too. (I mean, helpless woman x2. How embarrassing). But there I was, pretty stuck myself.

So I told my daughter to get out of the car to direct me. Only, it was not working so I got her back in the car and decided to wait it out. Just chalk it up to a holiday jam.

Meanwhile, the dear man got back in his car and saw I was stranded too so he came over to help me out. It was such a small gesture on his part, but the gratitude I felt was enormous.

Free to drive, I turned to get on the road. I had just said, “That was so incredibly nice of that man” and I got stopped behind a red car, who was behind another car. We were all waiting out the red light. In the left-hand lane was a huge truck. It was misplaced, like the island of the misfit toys, as it was too tight of a curve and the truck was too unyielding, but the truck tried to inch up in line anyway. And the truck, the size of my gratitude for that man who helped me get out of my own jam, was about to, oh no, it was all in super slow motion as the truck squeezed, but there wasn’t enough room, and then it did anyway. It side-swiped the tail end of the tiny car and deposited the little car right into the backside of another car. There was no way of telling damage had been done from my viewpoint, but apparently, the truck driver couldn’t see either. The truck drove away.

All the other cars drove ahead to make the light that had turned green except the little car and the red car that stayed behind as witness.

It was one of those moments where your heart sinks for the little guy. The guy was just sitting in his car, helpless and unnoticed. I wanted to yell out to the big truck, “Look what you did!” And I hadn’t even had the chance to process what had just happened when I realized I could do something.

I could drive after the truck and get the license number. It felt like my mind was lagging behind. There was traditional wisdom to overcome. “You stay at the scene of the accident,” that little voice inside of me said. But, finally, an even bigger voice boomed back. “Unless, of course, you need to go get that license plate number.”

Time wasn’t really operating in slow motion like I thought it was. We we were off! My daughter caught the excitement of it on video. Who knew that my heart would be racing before the chase had begun? I wanted to get all the details right. I didn’t want to run the red light, but that light took forever. The truck was getting away.

It finally turned green, after a good 10 minutes of waiting, I’m almost positive of it. And then the road and the cars that I had to pass seemed like a video game–that driving game we played as kids. It was the size of a really thick mini iPad. It had a little steering wheel on the bottom left corner that you could steer to weave in and out of traffic. If you hit a car a big red X would splash across the screen along with the error noise. You know, the crash and burn. (And then it broke, which was even better because we could hit the cars and it wouldn’t alert anyone that we had made a mistake. We could drive right over them.

But here the driving game came to life before me. There was no room for mistakes. If not for me, for my daughter. My daughter was in the car so I had to be safe. But we had the hot pursuit before us.

My heart pounded as I surveyed the scene: the road, the cars, the two lanes, not doing anything to endanger my daughter (ahem, getting the big X across the screen, even if I could just plow right through). But we spotted the truck. Thank goodness, there was another red light ahead, and this time it was a blessing. The two lanes merged into three. I saw the opportunity to bypass all the cars in front of me if I could just pull up in the far left lane. And there! My daughter was able to videotape all the way up to the final moment when we got the license plate number. She captured the truck on camera.

All that was left of my hot pursuit was that happy moment. My heartbeat with joy that I was able to pay it forward to the kind gentleman who helped me in the parking lot.

But I won’t end on this note. I asserted that at Christmas I’m always in hot pursuit of something and this Christmas was no different. So let’s fast forward from this moment to Christmas Eve when we were in hot pursuit of another truck, x2.

I’m asking you to suspend your disbelief here, but stick with me. I found myself in hot pursuit yet again come Christmas Eve, when we chased after Santa on the firetruck.

There was that same level of anticipation. We heard the sirens (and knew from years prior) that meant that he was getting closer. We had to leave the house to catch Santa in fear of missing him. Even though he goes to all the neighborhoods in our town, there’s something special about seeing him on our street. We plan everything around that moment when he appears on the firetruck.

The sirens start. There are two trucks. The smaller one makes the announcement and then the main firetruck appears in all it’s lit up glory. It makes the turn and the screaming starts. It’s the teenagers, or maybe it’s us, I don’t know. This time, I get to videotape the hot pursuit.

And now would be the opportune time to show you that video of Santa coming to town on the firetruck, however, I am still waiting for YouTube to process my video (or else my computer has frozen). Whenever it does I’ll be sure to update the post.

It’s not all about the chase and tracking down that truck two times over. Or maybe it is.

‘Tis the season for excitement in being present for one another. May your hot pursuits in 2020 be just as merry and bright as ours were in 2019!

A Muse 4 You: What have you been in hot pursuit of recently?

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