“Life provides ample opportunity to test our mettle. When circumstances call for it, let’s give ourselves a break and ask for help.”
When I have opportunities to teach my children things they will need to know, I prefer to make the most of them rather than let the moment be wasted. Well, I had the "opportunity", the other day, to teach Samuel how to change a tire on a car. It's a lesson that I would prefer their dad teach them, but I don't know if that "teaching opportunity" would present itself with him so I felt the burden had fallen on me.
To start off the day, I began to make breakfast but was short something (I can't even remember what it was now) and when I started to back out of our driveway, I noticed it felt and sounded different. I got out to look around and saw right away that the back, passenger-side tire was completely flat. "Ugh."
So I headed back inside the house to call Kia's roadside assistance hotline but stopped myself short when I understood I was presented the perfect opportunity to teach Samuel something he would someday need to know. The weather, though quite warm, wasn't wet and we were at our own home. These circumstances beat being stranded on a busy freeway in the pouring rain. So, yes, I decided to show my oldest son how to change a tire (then maybe next time I wouldn't HAVE to be in the equation at all)
Some of the steps I had to learn as I taught, like how to lower the spare from underneath the van, and where exactly to jack the van up from. Did I say it was "quite warm"? What I meant is it was pretty DANG HOT!! By the time we got the hang of the jack apparatus, we were both dripping sweat and frustrated for no other fact than that it was SO DANG HOT! We made sure to loosen the lug nuts in the right order, but not all the way until it was ready to come off.
"Phew!!" Flat tire off. We noticed a large piece of metal (bigger than a nail or screw) lodged in the tire tread. That explained it. Now to put the spare tire on. I read in the manual that the tire went on "Bevelled side out". What the HECK did that mean? Bevelled....who says that?!! I had no idea what bevelled meant in regards to a tire.....so I guessed.
We managed to get the tire on, screw on the lug nuts, lower the van....then, and ONLY then, we noticed the tire stuck out a good four inches farther than the other normal tires. "That does not look right." I told Samuel. We were worn out on account of the heat and filthy from the dirty tire, but the reality sadly sunk in and we knew we would have to take this tire off and turn it around. Before jacking the van back up I tried loosening the lug nuts. All but one loosened right up. One was being stubborn, it acted like the child who, upon not getting the exact piece of dessert he wanted decides to fold his arms and plant himself in the middle of the floor instead of heading off to the bathtub. NOTHING I did worked in moving this stubborn piece of metal. I tried one last time. We attached the lug wrench, I stepped up on it, jumped, and "FLOOSH!!" it was off, I was down.
I knew instantly that something was wrong. The nut had flung off the wheel and part of the bolt was now lodged in the nut...broken off of the vehicle. Upon realizing this, I sat down in exhaustion and felt tears well up. I didn't want Sam to see me so worked up so I abandoned the project and left for the house. After regaining my composure, I called the Kia Roadside Assistance hotline and they suggested that I get it towed to a shop. They asked what dealership I wanted them to tow the van to; the one five miles away or the one I got the van from, 16 miles away. Although, I would've preferred them take it to the farther one, I was too exasperated to care and simply told them, "Whatever's closest."
Long story short, my dad came over, the van got towed, they couldn't get to it that night, as they suggested, we went to the dealership for a loaner car, they didn't have one, the next day they told me the tire was unfixable and for a new tire and labor it would cost me $144. I called Dad, Dad called dealership, yelled at them, we went and got the van, took it to trusted dealership and they fixed it all for $20. What should've taken half an hour turned into a two day affair.
So, yes, a teaching opportunity arose. I took it. Sam learned to changed a tire but the real lesson was one I learned: Ask for help.