Big T. was about fifteen at the time, and I was trying to get him to his back-to-school-night for his junior year in high school. I had taken the wheel instead of relinquishing it to him as usual. He was about two months from getting his driver’s license, and I was about three months from giving birth to Lil’ K. I was driving fifteen miles over the speed limit and talking to Mr. Jenn on the cell phone. In my defense, I really had to pee.
“Um, there’s a cop,” noted Big T. from the passengers’ seat.
“Shit,” I said, hitting the brake. Before I could even look at the odometer, I saw blue lights in the rearview. Big T. was smirking his head off.
“Busted,” he said, helpfully. “You are so screwed.”
“Shit, what?” asked Mr. Jenn, also an officer of the law. “What have you done?”
“Uh…um,” I began, easing the car over.
“Jenn’s getting pulled OVER!” cried Big T. loud enough for the magistrate down the street to hear. “She just BLEW, I mean, BLEW a speed trap.”
“Gotta go, bye!” I cried, hanging up on him. To Big T. I said, “Thanks, Buddy. See if I ever bail YOU out of jail.”
The smirking continued as the officer approached the window.
“License and registration, please,” he said. He was NOT smiling.
“Hello, Officer,” I batted my eyelashes and handed him my paperwork. “Nice day today, isn’t it?”
“Ma’am, do you have any idea how fast you were going?” he asked. I hoisted my belly up on the steering wheel and rubbed it conspicuously. I smiled broadly and, I hoped, innocently.
“40?” I asked. I had no idea. Big T. snorted. I gave him a LOOK that only pregnant women with severely stressed bladders can muster.
The officer snorted. He looked at my license, then at me and handed it back. He looked supremely disappointed; he’d obviously made the connection between Mr. Jenn and me. I was free—for the moment.
“Have a nice day, and slow down, please,” he said.
“Thank you so much, sir!” I cried. “I promise I’ll do better!”
He snorted again and stalked back to his cruiser. We set off to school and a blessed bathroom.
“Convenient being related to a cop, isn’t it?” Big T. grinned.
“I’m going to catch hell for this, and you know it,” I told him. He smiled wider if that was possible.
Mr. Jenn was waiting by the kitchen counter, arms crossed when I returned home a couple of hours later.
“I heard all about it,” he said. “He called immediately, pissed because you were related to me. He could have written you for reckless.”
“I was in a hurry?” I hung my head. “I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to.”
“I’ve got to avoid the Sheriff’s office for awhile, you know,” Mr. Jenn frowned deeply.
“And she’s a terrible example to me,” grinned Big T., knowing I wanted to smack him.
“This is the first time I’ve been pulled over in sixteen years,” I said. “I’m usually extremely careful. I had to pee.”
“You should have seen her bat her eyelashes at him, Daddy,” said Big T., walking up to his room. Mr. Jenn rolled his eyes.
“Look, can’t I cut a deal?” I asked. I knew I’d hear about this for days, but I knew a way to put an end to the fussing for a few minutes.
“What do you take me for?” he asked. I smiled suggestively.
“Stop that,” he said. “That’s not behavior befitting a pregnant woman.”
“It’s behavior to keep a pregnant woman out of house torture and arrest,” I hugged him.
“You are still in trouble,” he told me. To this day, I’m still SO busted—caught being an irresponsible teenager in front of God and my step-adolescent. I may never hear the end of it.