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Bonnie Brown: My Most Memorable Spring Break ‘Oopsie’

I know many of you have just experienced Spring Break 2019. Did you head to the beach? Or to a ski resort?

I understand that many students embarked on mission trips. Whatever your destination, I hope the weather was to your liking, that you enjoyed your travels, and most importantly, made some lasting memories.

My most memorable spring break involved only local travel and occurred nearly 15 years ago. Our grandsons, Andrew and Bennett (then ages 5 and 3) had spent the night with us and we had enjoyed watching a movie with them. I can’t recall the movie, but I do remember returning the rented movie to Blockbuster on University Avenue the next morning. Blockbuster—now that’s a trip down Memory Lane, isn’t it!

To get there, I drove past Bramlett Elementary where Andrew attended kindergarten. As I drove past, I tauntingly said “Nanny-nanny boo-boo, Andrew’s out of school!” in my most delightful voice. Immediately Bennett said, “Granny, let’s do nanny-nanny boo-boo at my school.” He attended OU Methodist Pre-school. I agreed that as soon as we dropped off the movie at Blockbuster, we would do “nanny-nanny boo-boo” at Bennett’s school. I pulled into the parking space in front of Blockbuster, deposited the movie in their drop box, and climbed back into the car.

Andrew and Bennett Brown, December 2003.

I admit that I talk to myself. Around the house, in grocery stores, as I walk, just about anywhere. And as I drive. I “talk” to those drivers who seem unable to follow the rules of the road. All right, I don’t just talk to them, I have been known to call them names. The one I use most frequently is “a—hole.” No one hears it but me but it’s just enough to express my road rage.

So, that morning as I pulled out of the parking lot and was about to pull into traffic on University Avenue, a guy in a car pulled around me and in front of me onto University Avenue. I was so frightened at what could have been a nasty collision with my precious cargo and I was angry with that inconsiderate driver, so out came THE word! I was quite shaken by the near miss but that was almost immediately replaced by the horror of what I had just said with my grands in the car.

The word just hung in the air. I could almost feel it. Then, Andrew in his sweet little voice from the back seat said, “Granny, what’s a . . . rascal?” I was so relieved! I immediately explained that a “rascal” was someone who didn’t wait their turn in traffic and who was a very careless driver.

Andrew and Bennett Brown, February 2004.

I regretted that I used the word with my grands in the car. It had just popped out. Bad habit. I decided that no one would ever know what had happened. I went for several days before telling my husband about the experience. He chided me about my language, but did chuckle and said that young Andrew might be smart enough and clever enough to have purposely let me off the hook. I swore my husband to secrecy. What if my son and daughter-in-law found out about my use of THE word? They might think twice before allowing me around the children. They might want to wash my mouth out with soap.

Dennis, Lillie, Andrew, and Bennett Brown, December 2003.

At some point much later, I confided to my son Dennis about the incident. He was amused and thankfully didn’t lecture me. I swore him to secrecy. But that obviously didn’t last. A short while later, there was Lillie talking and laughing about the incident. Much to my relief, she wasn’t upset and seemed to genuinely understand my angst about my using THE word in front of her children.

I might have learned a lesson that day, but to be honest, I still talk to other drivers when they do stupid stuff. And, yes, I still use THE word!

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