What? My license plate shouldn't be folded up, smashed, laying on the concrete AND next to my rear reflector? Looks pretty normal to me.
Monday night seemed typical enough. My husband and I decided we should run out to Babies R Us and the health food store so we could pick up necessities, you know, vitamins, diapers, ice cream - the usual. In our flurry to get our errands accomplished quickly so we could return home to do nothing, we forgot not only to bring the bottle we made for Pearyn, but the entire diaper bag her bottle was placed in. Parents of the year award? Sure.
We figured we'd be OK though, we still had a good hour and a half before she would need to eat, so we flew through our errands and were on our way home with 20 minutes to spare.
Well, until we stopped at that red light.
I'm not sure what made me do it, but while waiting for the light to turn green I glanced in my rear view mirror and noticed the white car behind us was getting a little too close a little too fast. Not knowing what else to do, I honked my horn and let out a slur of curse words (which was apparently my way of telling my husband that we were about to be rear ended), hoping to somehow hinder the damage that was about to occur.
The 76-year-old woman in her white car slammed into my car without hitting the breaks, causing us to lurch forward and turn. The entire event from seeing this in the mirror to it actually happening took a mere 5 seconds, but it felt like 5 minutes.
Everything I could possibly love aside from my mom and dad were in that car with me, my whole world. And in a split second this woman could have changed that.
To most this might sound a bit dramatic, it was by definition a simple "fender bender," but if you've ever been in an accident with your young child in the car, I have a feeling you know exactly what I'm talking about. And in my defense, even my car mechanic said this was a pretty powerful hit, as it caused my license plate number to be indented into my bumper, my bumper to crack and bust and a whole lot of the interior body to be damaged as well.
The cops said she had to have hit us at at least 30 mph.
Pearyn was screaming. She was screaming so much she couldn't catch her breath and all I kept thinking about were those horrible statistics about how many people don't have their child seats installed properly and what severe injuries it can cause. The paramedics were called because of how young Pearyn is and to our relief, sanity and the 76-year-old woman's conscience, she seemed perfectly alright, just a bit shook. We were given a tabulation of things to look out for, bruising, stiffness, vomiting, all sorts of things that would indicate there was something wrong that we couldn't see. A little over 48 hours later and Pearyn (and everyone else) is still fine.
My heart is with any and every person who's been involved any kind of accident, from a fender bender to something more fatal ... while some outcomes are far worse than others, they all have one thing in common.
Sometimes, no matter how conscious of a driver you are, someone else isn't.
It was the first major realization which proved to us the one thing a parent absolutely doesn't want to think about - we can't protect our daughter from everything.
I think that's the worst part of all.