we were on time and excited and the girls did fabulous. it truly is amazing to see how far they come in a quick 30 minute private lesson.
we left feeling jazzed for swimming and for summer. we popped over to target and the dollar store to grab a few items for our upcoming ROAD TRIP TO THE LAKE. and that's right about when i realized i had a missed call and voicemail from so and so at new life's human resources department.
you see, i've been in the process of getting hired at new life downtown for, um, a while now. i'm in charge of the 4, 5, and 6 year olds (adorable). and let me just say that i haven't quite given off the "responsible employee" vibe to the hr department thus far. after failing to get references in on time and forgetting to bring my social security card to orientation, seeing that i had missed another call from sweet so and so, made me panic just a tad.
"hey mandy, it's so and so from hr, i just wanted to let you know that your drivers license is expired so you will be an inactive employee until i can have a copy of an up to date license."
i am now officially the picture of responsibility.
"i promise i was more on top of things before i birthed children", i whispered to myself as i turned the car toward the dmv. "i'm getting this taken care of right now."
it really was a pleasant 20 minute wait at the north union dmv. the kids sat quietly and read and when they called my number, i was so thankful that i had decided to just get it done. i was about to be a legal driver again and was promptly going to take that sucker up to new life. human resources, please still like me.
except, the nice lady studied my expired license for a brief moment and then informed me that:
"your license has been expired for over a year now, hun, i can't take care of you at this location. you'll have to go to the main campus on south union to take a test."
i'm a little frustrated at this point, i gather the kids and head toward the van feeling the sting of minutes wasted on accomplishing nothing and wondering how in the world did i not know that my license had been expired for so long. i glance at the time and try to get the kids excited about going to another "office" to wait for a little bit. i hate having stuff like this hanging over me so i drove the 20 minutes to the dreaded union and van buren office.
we walk in and i immediately start feeling waves of stress and anxiety. there are hundreds of people in here. no one is happy. no one has time for this place. i try to smile at the check in guy,
"i let my license expire, i need to take a test."
"okay ma'am, let me get you a number. after the written test, you'll have to take a driving test and you won't be able to have those kids with you while you do that. we can go ahead and get you set up with the written test today though, wait time is 2 hours and 28 minutes."
i'm trying to process everything he's telling me as i grab the number and scan the room for where to set up with my kiddos. there are no chairs.
i'm blinking back tears as my kids run in circles around poles and people. i hear someone say "i can't do anything about it, they're not my kids" and i don't even care. normally this would send me in a tizzy of quieting my kids, having them say "sorry" and "excuse me" and sitting them down on the floor quietly next to me. but i just couldn't do it.
i come to my senses and realize that there is no way that we can stay here for 2 and a half hours. i load the kids back in the van, call dave and start sobbing. he has a great way of bringing perspective and calming me down. after driving around a bit and grabbing the kids some food, i decide to go back, after all, i already have my number and it's easily been over an hour since we first started waiting.
as we walk back through the doors, i can feel the anxiety come back, this place has already traumatized me. there are still no chairs and i have absolutely no emotional energy to parent well in this environment. but after about 30 more minutes, they call our number. "praise Jesus" i whisper under my breath and head up to station number 8. i grab the test and set ian next to me on the table and the girls underneath the desk in-between my legs. as i scan the test, i quickly realize that i have no idea how many feet a loaded truck going 55 mph needs to stop, or how many feet of buffer you are required to give a bicycle. i am praying through each and every question, ian is to my left chopping on ice and dripping water everywhere, the girls are at my feet poking and prodding and tickling and peek-a-booing. certainly, i'm in the middle of a nightmare.
i hand the gal my finished test and watch as she grades with red pen. i can miss 5. oh please, Jesus, let me pass. she marks six wrong, tells me i can take it again and offers to let me study my wrong answers briefly before i re-test. i know what to change, except this time she hands me a completely different test. i fail that one too. i have ian in my arms and the girls are grabbing my legs and she says "you can only take two tests per day, ma'am, have a nice afternoon".
and that was that. i leave my second dmv's office of the day, having not accomplished one thing with the knowledge that i certainly have to study for the written test and also need to squeeze in a driving test at some point in the next few days. i cried the whole way home. and then downloaded the 37 page colorado drivers manual.
this story is already entirely too long and could even be longer, but thankfully, i ended up taking care of EVERYTHING the very next morning, thanks to dave and my mom. took and passed the written test, took and passed the driving test, waited and waited and waited at the dmv to give them my permit (ha) and the official documentation signifying that i passed the drive test so they could fingerprint me, take my picture and make my driving a vehicle an actual legal thing.
i wrote all of this out in hopes that i will never let my license expire again and in hopes that you will never let your license expire.
the funny thing is, if i would have realized that my license was expired a month ago, i could have renewed online.