It seemed like an ordinary morning.
I buckled our sons in the car and we set out for preschool.
About 20 minutes into the ride, I heard a voice from the back seat, saying words no mother wants to hear:
“Mama,” came the voice. “I just threw up everywhere.”
I took the next exit and parked at a gas station. Luckily I had an extra change of clothes. I calmed Leo down, cleaned everything up as well as I could, and strapped him into the extra, clean car seat in our van.
But I had seen the traffic on the other loop of the beltway, and I knew we still had at least a half-hour drive home. I didn’t know what to offer our son to contain any future mess. I couldn’t find a towel in the car. I had a plastic grocery bag, but that didn’t seem like a good idea.
And then I saw it.
It had been sitting in the back of the van for three weeks, ever since we delivered Grandma’s birthday cake to her house.
It was a plastic cake saver. And it was just the right size.
I handed it to Leo, told him to hold it on his lap, and he used it more than once on the way home.
I was so grateful for that simple solution to what seemed like an enormous problem.
It’s true, you know. God gives us what we need at the moment we need it. To a parent who has never faced this problem, finding the right tool in the back of the car probably seems insignificant. But we had a need and God made sure that need was met.
Because of that cake saver, we were able to drive the whole way home without stopping. It saved the car from further mess, but—more important, of course—that cake saver kept Leo calm during what felt like a long drive home.
Now a cake saver is part of our emergency kit for the car. And I’m thinking I may have a new standard baby shower gift. Expectant mothers may think they need burp cloths and onesies, but soon enough they’ll be driving along and hear those chilling words:
“Mama, I just threw up everywhere.”
And that’s when they’ll think: this is a job for a cake saver.
Photos by Richard Beyer