Wednesday, January 8, 2014

An Accident Missed and Something Unexpected

In case you don't live in Central Illinois like I do, we've been having some cold weather here.  Two days of school were canceled this week because the actual temperature got down to -15 degrees.  The wind chill got down to -34 degrees (from the reports I read).

We've also had a fair amount of snow.  It was all fine since we spent several days cozy at home.  But we had to get out in the cold white world today since the boys had to get back to school and Nora had TLC.

Even though I drive a Mercury Mountaineer (a big SUV), I was sliding all over the roads.  I gripped the steering wheel very tightly and prayed constantly.  My anti-lock breaks kicked in at every single stop. 

I managed (clearly with God's help!) to get all the kids dropped off.  Then I had a hair appointment (my stylist is my sisters, so it doubles as quality time).  I got some groceries, headed home to drop them off, and headed back to TLC to pick up Nora.  I had managed to figure out how to drive safely (ish), so I was more careful than nervous at that point.

I came to a 3-way stop.  My street T'ed up with another street, and I needed to turn left.  There was a car at each stop sign, so I patiently waited while each of them went and then it was my turn.  I noticed a car approaching from my right, but I knew that car would stop at the stop sign.

Right when I was in the middle of the intersection, I happened to see that car from the right barreling toward me.  I slammed on my breaks (not a good move on snow) and my car actually came to a stop at the same time the other car came to a stop.  We were sorta side-by-side but with our front fenders nearly touching.

I looked at the woman driving the other car, pointed two car lengths behind her at the stop sign, and raised my eyebrows in the patented Mom scolding face.  I said (in my mom voice), "You had a stop sign." (Nora said, "Mom, she can't hear you.")

She shrugged with her hands up near her shoulders and said, "I'm sorry."

She drove away in front of me and I followed behind with a healthy distance between us until I turned to get to my neighborhood.  I was SO thankful that God kept us from colliding.  It was literally a miracle that I was able to stop before hitting her when I hadn't been able to stop in vacant intersections earlier in the day.  Instead of exchanging insurance information and filing paperwork and finding time to get my car fixed, I got to just drive away and get home for Nora's nap time.


Another noteworthy event from my day came after school.  This was the boys' first day back at school after 2 1/2 weeks off.  They were in good spirits as they had an after-school snack.  As usual, they told me random tidbits about their day at school (which I love). 

Griffin was enjoying methodically eating his Nutty Bar (I mean--he totally chose a healthy snack rather than the dessert leftover from his lunch...) when he spoke up. This time he didn't have a story from his day to tell me; he had a question:

"Mom, what are weed brownies?"

Seriously.  I couldn't crack a smile or show how furious I was that he had even heard of weed brownies.  I made my face and tone of voice neutral and asked where he had heard that.  Turns out it came from a video about his current favorite video game (Super Mario 64).  We've been letting him watch videos of how to beat a certain level or get a certain power or whatever.  We are extremely careful about what videos he watches.  Apparently not careful enough.

I started by telling him that he's not allowed to watch that video anymore.  Then I explained to him what weed brownies are because I figure a quick, factual response ("brownies with drugs in them) was better than shrugging him off.  Plus I remember how my grandma would answer any question we ever asked her, and it's something I mentally filed away under Things I'll Do When I'm A Parent. 

Just another day in the life.  But I'd be happy to not drive again until the roads are clearer and not explain any more drugs to my kids.



  1. That's terrible! I at least hope that the woman's apology was sincere. So many lives can be put to danger if she had been any more distracted. In any case, I'm glad to know that you and Nora are safe. Thanks for sharing that, Jessica! Take care! :)

    Clifford Wheeler @ PSP Law

  2. How scary! To think you were both inches away from a collision. I genuinely hope the woman in the other car is now more aware and conscious about stop signs and other drivers. It would be terrible if she were to cause an actual accident the next time she isn't paying attention. At any rate, I'm so glad that you and Griffin got out of that incident safe. Thanks for sharing that, Jessica! Drive safely!

    Sabrina Craig @ Medical Attorney NY