“Okay- I know it’s lame- but sometimes you gotta sit through stuff you already know- cause it’s the right thing.”
“Love you- drive careful.”
And he did. But you can only be so careful when someone stops in the middle of the freeway instead of merging. Which is when you get the call every mother of driving age kids dreads:
“Mom? I’m okay,everyone’s okay, but I had an accident.”
Your heart stops. (Not forever- it just feels like it.) “What about the other people?” (Yes he just told you everyone is okay- but you ask anyway. You have to. ) Then-you don’t believe that he’s actually: Okay. So you ask again: “Are you sure you’re okay?” “Where are you?” Then you ask a string of stupid questions that you can’t remember later. (I could make some up, but whatever lame thing you’re thinking I may of asked? I did. Probably twice.)
“We’ll be right there.”
And you grab your jacket, purse and shoes. If you are as vain as I am you also grab a hat because these things never happen when you are appropriately dressed, made up and have your hair done. You don’t bother with things like: bras, socks or weather appropriate clothing. It’s a come as you are type thing. All you can think is: “Must see kid’s face: NOW.” Because that, is of course-how mom’s know if a kid is really okay.
If your husband is home, you then pace, stomp your feet and call to him (may 14 times in 3 minutes) : “I’m leaving, are you coming or not?”
Apparently, Dad’s may want to change out of their star wars pajama pants in order to deal with things like accidents, police officers, tow trucks and collision shops. I don’t know why.
After maybe the 15th yell up the stairs and then going up to hurry the poor man along- you may realize that you are a bit of a basket case and that it may be better for the sane human wearing pants to go to the accident scene. Go with that gut instinct.
Of course- you will then text and call every 13.2 seconds because you will want to know all the details AS THEY HAPPEN. Things like: the overall attitude of the officer, (doesn’t matter- you won’t like it regardless of the fault- or details.) the look on the face of the other driver and the names/ ages of their children- even if they aren’t in the car- and whether or not you know the other people involved. (You kind of hope you do and don’t at the same time. If you know them- they may handle it better- or worse. it’s a 50/50 shot.) You will also want to know again: IS HE REALLY OKAY?
At some point you will remember that you have other children. They will probably have to be somewhere in 12 minutes. You get dressed in actual clothes- checking your phone for missed calls and texts between articles of clothing. This “child” will most likely need to drive, because of course- he’s taking his road test on Saturday. You need to let him. You will not want to.
Then you will most likely have to drive by the accident scene. Which is when the tears well up in your eyes and you realize: how bad it could have been. This is a freeway. That is your kid. He could have…..yeh. you get the idea.
Blink. a lot. Don’t let the tears start. You have to function. Say something stupid. Keep going. (Told you the kid should drive.)
When you get to the ATM for cash for the scantron for college boy-do not be overly alarmed if you cannot remember your PIN number.
Actually- do not be overly concerned if you screw it up so many times that the bank locks you out of your account and your card is declined at the college bookstore. Use the other card. Laugh- because- really? it figures and you’re human. Buy the Chem book that costs more than your first 3 credit class in college. (Slight exaggeration- but only slight.) Also: considers stop using your debit card for everything and start carrying cash. You don’t need a PIN for cash. Justsayin.’
You will want to take care of this problem. You will want to fix it. You will want to make the calls, set up the appointments, explain to the officer, blame the other driver.
You can’t. Well, you could, but you’d be missing out on one of those stupid opportunities- you know- where you walk THROUGH something with your kid and show them how to handle it instead of handling it for them. Yeah- I hate those. It’s hard.
But it’s even harder to have never let them learn to walk on their own.
Look at my blog header- see the tree-trunk man legs all the way to the right? Picture me trying to carry around that college kid. My neurologist would not approve.
Today was a lot like the day he learned to ride his bike….. we held onto the handle bars and seat just enough to keep him upright- then we let him go. And he did it. Even though this time- it’s not something either of us ever wanted him to have to do.
He can do this, So can I.
And- if someday you get “that” call- you will be able to- too. And I pray that the oucome will be like ours- that everyone is really okay.
Cars can be replaced. Kids cannot. I am so thankful the irreplaceable one is fine. (And the the other is insured:)
It was a long day. For everyone. But we made it.
Confession- I wasn’t “okay” until I actually saw his face. Not until I hugged his giant man-boy neck. It was hours after “the event’. LOOONG DAY.
But- we weren’t alone. My always traveling husband- was home. (Good thing.) My kid is okay. Insurance will cover the problem. And now I know what it feels like to get “that” call.
God was present- even here.
Good thing- too- because I was: a mess. I’m better now. (well- better- is relative- we’re talking ME here. so yeah. I’m just normal crazy today.)
So- have you been here? Do you have a driving kid? Any accidents? How was it? What did you do? What didn’t you do? What would you do differently next time? Comment away……
PS- Mom? You know when you got “that” call? I’m still sorry about that. And I love you. – signed a mom- who was also a kid- (funny how that works)
PPS- The topper of the day? After everyone was home- youngest rode his bike to a friends….. and flipped it. Yes- he hit his head. No, he wasn’t wearing a helmet. Yes- there was a hospital visit and a slight concussion. No- mothering never stops.
Neither do moms- we just- keep swimming.