When it’s comes to modifying Mum’s Taxi, I’d never considered attaching a snorkel before. A meter perhaps but never a snorkel.
That was until yesterday morning when I was driving our son to school in the rain after dropping Mademoiselle at the local swimming pool. Oops! I mean train station. I ended up driving through flood waters, clinging onto the steering wheel desperately hoping I’d make it out the other side. The “puddle” was considerably deeper and longer than I’d anticipated and I was dreading becoming a victim…a statistic of stupidity.
Even though the rain was bucketing down, the flood waters caught me off-guard. After all, I was simply driving our son to school a few streets away. When the car in front of me did a U-turn, I probably should’ve followed suit but my navigator goaded me to drive on: “C’mon Mum! Keep going!”
After all, what kid doesn’t love driving through puddles?!!
However, this wasn’t your garden variety puddle. It was more along the lines of an Olympic Swimming Pool. Well, Okay. I exaggerate. At the same time, this wasn’t the sort of puddle you should drive through, even though it wasn’t a raging torrent. Not dangerous but why take the risk?
Indeed! To impress your son. A son who goads you into driving through flood waters like a professional navigator when he’s only 12 years old and can’t even drive a car. Has no idea what happens when a car stalls in flood waters. Or, worse still, that cars can get swept away. Their occupants drowned.
Why did I listen? Why didn’t I trust my instincts? I blame a mother’s love. Or, was it really something less noble like wanting to be the hero? Fangio?
Well, I also blame inexperience. It’s the first time I’ve ever faced driving through such deep water. After all, I’m a city slicker. These days I might live in Greater Sydney by the beach but it’s hardly the Great Australian outback, which expects drought and flood. It’s civilization. Moreover, for the last few months it’s been scorchingly hot. Our front lawn has been cremated. Floods weren’t something I’d given a lot of thought!
I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror –
The wide brown land for me!
Dorothea Mackellar: My Country
Yet, that’s Australia. I shouldn’t be surprised.On the other hand, as an urbanite, you feel perhaps somewhat naively, that you’re insulated from nature. That you can package nature up inside a pipe. Control and contain it. Make it behave. Yet, nature has her own ideas. Fights back. Humiliates and subdues mankind, bringing us to our knees. We can be prepared but there are no guarantees. Nature does what nature wants.
That includes making our morning school run considerably more challenging.
I often say that I never know where Mum’s taxi is going to take me next and through flood waters definitely wasn’t on the list.