Friday, September 21, 2012

Everything's Not Lost

When I was a young girl, I would daydream about who adult me would be.  I didn't have all the particulars worked out before adulthood hit me like a giant sledgehammer, but I did have a lot of the details figured out for certain

For starters, my hair would be long and flowing and crimped to perfection every morning. I would be an artist. An inspired, creative soul - always busy, always somewhere to go, and always - always  - running late. I would wear press-on nails and colorful plastic jewelry.  I would have lunch with my sisters on weekends.  For some reason in these childhood fantasies I had a driver. I wasn't rich.  In fact, in my fantasies I lived in a studio apartment with three cats and a hamburger phone.

Adult me never drove the family car into a ditch in these daydreams.

With her baby in the backseat.

Because she was dodging wildlife on a winding street a la Mario Kart.

But real-life-adult-me did just that.  I was on my way to meet D for lunch one lucky afternoon.  I know we see each other every day before and after work.  I know we talk periodically throughout the day.  But having lunch together with just one of our kids instead of both of them is truly the closest we would have been to a date in a depressingly long time.

I was embarrassingly early for our lunch, so I decided to drive around a nearby neighborhood and look around.  Since we're new to the area, I thought it would be nice to learn some of the roads. I was driving 20 miles an hour in a neighborhood.  There was hardly any traffic.  An animal ran in front of the car and I swerved to keep from hitting him.  Then another, and I had to swerve much quicker to miss that one.  I over-turned the wheel to get back into my lane at a curve in the road and drove off into a ditch.

But not just any little drainage ditch. I drove into the mother of all ditches, into a little pole that mercifully collapsed upon impact. I was singing along to the church radio. I wasn't driving fast. I was happy. It was sunny. I could not wait to have lunch with my adorable husband.  It all happened very fast. My sunglasses flew off of my face. My legs were locked. I had my foot on the brake. My baby was asleep in his seat.

And that was all I could think. The car stopped and I put it in park and opened the door and ran to the baby.  He woke up startled after I was stopped. Thankfully, someone in a nearby house came out and I asked him to get the keys out of the car for me.  Another driver, a woman, stopped and I asked her to call the police.

All I could do was hold the baby. By the grace of God, we were fine. I was a little banged up. He was perfectly fine. 

D made it to the accident before the police.  I sat in a chair in a driveway nearby with little brother. The car was towed away. D drove us home.

I have never felt so terrible about something that was completely my fault ever.  This was my first real accident and I can't imagine bearing the burden of driving ever again.  It's a tremendous responsibility and all I can think is that there are a million roadside ditches that I have driven past and never even noticed.  There are a million other drivers who could just as easily swerve to miss something and hit me instead.

I can only hope that time will make me feel like less of a total failure, but for right now, the repair shop is estimating 3000.00 in damages, which - thankfully - the insurance company is covering. I still can't believe I drove the car into a ditch.  Childhood me would be so disappointed.

We are fine. We will be fine. The car will be fixed. The baby is too young to remember. Tomorrow is another day and I don't have to think about driving again for at least a week or two.


Last weekend, we all went to the Wizard of Oz festival locally. Who knew such a fest existed?!  Turns out, everyone within a hundred mile radius, I believe.  It was crowded!  Lots of food and arts and crafts. 

LOTS of Dorothys.


The weather is beautiful.  Birds are migrating through. Leaves are falling in true Midwest Autumn fashion. Today it rained a bit. I trimmed the rosebushes and washed the huge windows on the outside.  little brother sat in the stroller and watched. I made spaghetti for dinner.


Tomorrow we'll have breakfast with D's parents and borrow their car to get some groceries.  Next week, we'll rent a car so Big brother doesn't have to miss any baseball. 



 I will be looking into that driver, childhood me.  You were smarter than people thought (except the crimping).




-S.

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