I Brake to Laugh

Jul 01, 2018

I don’t drive my husband’s truck very often, and for a reason.   

It’s powerful and it’s big. 

Truth be told, sitting up in that drivers seat does make me feel a little bit badass; but more so it scares me.  So, I shy away from driving it most of the time.  

However, for logistics sake I was left with it while we were up in Tahoe on a family camping trip. Two of my sons and I headed to South Lake in search of s’mores supplies.  

We pull into the Raley’s parking lot at the Y.  This particular lot is always chaotic, and it’s especially so in the summer at 6pm.  

As I look for a place to park I slow to ease into the flow of carts and cars and bikes and skateboards and campers and rv’s and strollers, etc..  The spaces are mostly full.  

The tourists annoy the locals and the locals annoy the tourists. Each feel the other is in their way. 

There’s a spot to my right that’s open.  It looks like my best shot. I round to pull in-between the white lines, which seem to narrow the closer I get to them.   

I ask my son Matt who is sitting in the passenger seat to look to see how close I am to the silver corolla parked to our left.   

He’s looking down at his phone and I get no response.  “Matt,” I repeat loudly; “Am I going to hit that car?”   


“Matt, put the phone down. Am I going to hit that car?”  

He looks up with a deep breath, orients himself and puts his phone down.  He takes off his seatbelt to partially step onto the seat to leverage his 12 year old body high enough to peer over the dashboard to evaluate our clearance on the passenger side. 

Without a pause, and with the most absolute of tones he slips back into his seat, grabs his phone and responds expressionlessly, “Not yet!”

I brake to laugh.   

The immediacy of being able to be in THAT exact moment and be THAT present to EXACTLY what I was asking startled me, confused me and deeply impressed me.  

We didn’t hit the car, we parked, made it successfully in and out of the store and we indulged in some yummy s’mores later that night.  

Since then I’ve found many places in my life where I am tempted to jump ahead and thanks to Matty I am able to catch myself and remind myself, not yet.  

Right now we are in right now.  

Anything beyond now, is simply Not Yet!

There’s no hurry.  

Life is happening in the NOW!   

And, thank God for that! 

Hannah Zackney