Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Jesus Took the Wheel

Here's something I don't like but have gone through six times now: Teaching a child to drive. The law says they have to have a gazillion hours of experience before they get their licence and are deemed ready and competent to be foisted upon the driving public at large. Does anyone think about the poor soul who has to sit in the seat next to them as they as learning and practicing? What of their fate? Today I had a small taste of what that fate could have been.

As Kit was driving home from Fresno today along Ave. 9 (I was the poor soul in the seat next to her) we were having a lovely time chatting and listening to the radio. I was relaxed because she was doing a great job driving, for once not cringing and slowing to incredible speeds as cars approached her or as we came to a curve in the road. But as everyone knows who has driven that road, it narrows cruelly and the edges are rough and frequently torn up with small drop offs. We were almost to the freeway when Kit went off the shoulder of the road into the dirt. It was a pretty good drop-off and nearly at the same time (although she has no recollection of this) I yelled that she was off the road and she overcorrected back on. We were thrown into the oncoming lane fishtailing like crazy, but she overcorrected again and we headed to the right side of the road again straight towards a telephone pole. We were literally seconds from hitting it head on, but mostly on my side of the car and all I could think was, "Wow, I always wondered about those people who die hitting a telephone pole and now I'm going to be one of them. Ironic." But here's the part I can't explain. The front of the car was suddenly beyond the pole but the back tire hit it and we were off in the other direction again. She finally pulled off the road and slowed to a stop. The whole time this was happening, Kit was yelling, "What do I do? I don't know what to do!" Even when we were stopped, she said it over and over and then busted up crying. I kept saying, "You're okay. You did just fine. We are fine." Then I got out and on shaking legs looked to see how bad the back of the car was damaged. Nothing. Really, the back hubcap was off, the tire rim was full of weeds but not a bump or scratch. (I think because it was the camry and it has taken 15 years of abuse from many a kid and accident and it's kinda hard to see what injuries are new, but I pretty sure).

As we drove on home, I laughed a little shakily about Kit yelling what to do over and over. She laughed too because she thought that she was only thinking that, not saying it out loud. She said, "I couldn't think what to do so I just let you do it," but I didn't touch the steering wheel. I have to say one of my all time favorite songs to mock is Jesus take the wheel. Really the dumbest song ever. But I have now experienced something like the sentiment of that song. We were not in control of the car, but I am sure someone else was. I am sure it was He is who has held me together for the rest of the day and only now, at midnight, do all the what-ifs come pouring in and I can't sleep.

Here's what I am grateful for tonight:

  1. I am home, safe and sound only worrying about what could of happened and not what did.

  2. I have a 16-year-old daughter who doesn't have to bear the scars of causing a serious, if not fatal accident. Although several times today I have told her I'm not going to forget that she almost killed me today.

  3. The car that had been sitting on our rear bumper for 8 miles previously had for some reason fallen way back only minutes before so that when he passed us, we were safely on the side of the road.

  4. There was no oncoming traffic.

  5. I don't have to deal with expensive car repairs (insignificant in the scheme of things but a burden nontheless).

  6. A loving Heavenly Father who watches over us, even when we don't feel worthy or are even aware that we need watching over.

  7. There is only one more child to teach to drive. Maybe by the time he's old enough, I'll send him to one of his siblings for lessons. Not sure I can do it again. At least not today.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Spring Spring Spring

So. Time has flown and dragged significantly since the last time I posted. The more time had passed the less I was inclined to write anything or post any pictures. It's not for a lack of subject matter by any means because there have been a million things happen this year. Not sure why I put off writing but it finally got to a point where I decided I'll see if I can go a year between postings but I can't. See how bad I am at reaching goals? I can't even stick to a year long procrastination but quit a month early. I am pitiful.

Anyway. I woke up this morning to another beautiful (I know my Barros relatives are so not agreeing with me right now) day in the neighborhood. Cool weather, 52 degrees, cloudy/sunny skies, clear air. Spring is usually my very least favorite season due to its shortness (sometimes a week or two at the most) and its heralding of summer that is always too hot and too long. But this year? It has lasted and lasted and lasted. A few warm days every once in a while and then right back to cool, wet and windy. It was lovely for long enough to have our trees all get a good set of fruit, the garden is growing and the grass is brilliant green. But cool enough to wear sweaters for more than one month, I'm still okay in shoes and socks most of the time, and long pants feel good. But still, every day I wake up wondering if this is it. The beginning of the end. For some reason my pessimistic nature won't allow me to enjoy it fully. but secretly I cheer and hoot at the beauty and wonder of a cool and long spring.

If this is global warming, bring it on.