From Chicken Soup for the Soul in Menopause

Snow-Capped Estrogen

When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.

Franklin D. Roosevelt

As many parents do each and every day, I was driving to my daughter’s high school to pick her up. Parking and waiting for my teenager for those few quiet moments was going to be a welcome relief from my busy, dizzy life of being a single mother.

The going was slow because huge flakes of snow, unlike any I’d ever seen before, were falling. They were actually quite beautiful. It was a really great kind of snow to build snowmen because it was wet and held together really well.

As I entered the school parking lot, the wet snow reminded me of several days earlier, when my thirty-year-old son and I were outside my home. I was building a snow angel under the big purple plum tree while he was shoveling the driveway for me.

It was a very precious moment between a mother and her adult son. The air was absolutely still. You could have caught your breath in your hand and held it. The snow crunched happily under our feet. And, strangely, I felt very warm. While my son was seriously working in silence, I felt like a little girl under that beautiful old tree admiring my gorgeous snow angel. From behind me, I heard my son calmly ask, “Mom?”

I turned to see him smiling at me—and throwing a big snowball at the snow-laden tree branches above me! As you can well guess I was buried in snow! While digging my way out, I could hear my son’s beautiful laughter. The driveway chore ended in a boisterous snowball fight!

Just as I shut my engine off, I was brought back to reality by a loud knock on my car window that startled me into bouncing my head off of the roof. The woman pounding on my window was clearly agitated about something. I rolled down my window, and she immediately asked if I had a cell phone. I didn’t and asked her what was wrong. She quickly explained that a man had rear-ended her car at the corner traffic light and had followed her into the parking lot to exchange information, but that he was clearly high on either alcohol or drugs.

Well, that got me going. Imagine, driving in a school zone under the influence at three o’clock in the afternoon! I immediately got out of my car, fuming. I told her to go look for a cell phone and call 911, or ask one of the teenagers to alert school staff.

I approached the man’s vehicle and knocked on his window. His car was still running. He rolled his window down, and I asked him if he had had anything to drink. He said that he hadn’t. His eyes were bright red. I asked him again if he had been drinking, and he admitted that he had. He said that he was visiting from out of town and had just left an all-night party and was “just tired.” Meanwhile, his breath almost knocked my socks off!

I was so infuriated that he might have hurt someone. “Sir (I was a regular “Cops” viewer and used the phrases I thought was suitable), I want you to turn off your car and give me your keys,” I ordered.

He looked at me and sneered, “You can’t tell me what to do!”

I repeated, “Turn off your car and give me the keys!” This time I added more authority to my voice.

He was not going to shut his car off or give me the keys. Where on earth was the woman who went to call the police? I thought. I walked out to the entrance of the parking lot and stopped the first vehicle driving toward me. I asked the two men in the truck to block the entrance until the police came. They agreed.

I trekked back to the car through the heavy snow that was continuing to fall. Irritated, I again demanded that he give me his keys. I was envisioning some innocent teenager, maybe mine, being hit by this man. I blew!

“Who do you think you are asking me for my keys?” he slurred.

I reached through the open window and grabbed his keys from the ignition before he knew what hit him. “I am a mother,” I proclaimed, “and I am in full-throttle menopause. I am making a citizen’s arrest. Stay right where you are, buddy!”

He sat quietly until the police arrived and statements were filed. Afterward, I got in my car and headed home with my beautiful daughter. About one mile from the school, still thinking about what I had done, I started to shake. I yelled out, “What was I thinking?!”

“Mom, you did real good back there,” Danielle said. “I’m proud of you, except . . .”

“Except what, honey?” I asked.

She hesitated a moment. “Well, you did great, except you have about a foot of snow piled on top of your hat!”

I began to laugh. I don’t know how anyone could have taken me seriously looking the way I did. It must have been my estrogen look.

Glady Martin

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