Monday, February 2, 2009

Adventures in Real Parenting: The Bliss That Is Ignorance

This morning, very early, my mobile phone went off in my pocket. It was The Actor. I flipped my phone open and barely got out a quick "hello" before The Actor, a little breathless and rushed, blurted out "The Dancer wrecked her car."

Time froze for a moment. A split of a split split second.

"Is everyone okay?" First things first! The Dancer was driving both The Actor and Cupcake to school since MathMan had to leave so early and my car isn't running.

I could hear The Dancer in the background, she sounded like she was giving instructions. I reached for the home phone to dial 911.

The Actor still seemed rushed. "We're fine. She just ran off the road a little, no big deal, we're fine. There's no damage on the car."

"Where are you?"

"Where Dad wrecked his car."

I could picture it. A longish bend on Miller Farm Road next to a pasture where long-horned cattle stand around looking bored. MathMan went into a fishtail spin there a couple of years ago and ended up off the edge of the road, his car nearly on its side, a mirror gone, some dents and the whole driver side of his Corolla bearing a new design scratched into the silver paint by the barbed wire fence his car rested against.

"You're sure you're okay. Everyone is okay."

"We're fine! We've got to get to school," he announced and was gone.

I hung up my phone and went back to what I was doing. No damage. No injuries. I didn't hear anyone having a meltdown in the background. I figured that they'd run a little off the road, as The Actor had described it, and were able to pull out of the ditch with no problem.

A little while later, The Dancer called to tell me that she'd gotten the others off to school and she was heading to the high school. I quizzed her briefly and she simply said everything was fine, no damage, no big deal. She hung on the phone longer than usual, but gave no indication that anything was wrong.

I actually didn't give it another thought.

Cupcake ran up the stairs this afternoon and stood before me, her head down. She knew I was pretty pissed at her for the tummy ache nonsense earlier in the day. I told her why it was wrong, told her what her punishment would be and pointed her toward the kitchen to have something to eat and to get her homework done.

"How was your day?" I finally asked after we got through that other annoying business.

"Fine," she said, stuffing a couple of pieces of popcorn chicken into her mouth. I watched as she chewed them, savoring them. I was just getting up from the table when she opened her mouth again. I thought she was getting ready to toss more chicken in.

"I mean, it wasn't all bad, considering it started off with us spinning around in the car two and a half times on the way to school!" she chirped before popping another piece of barbecue sauce coated chicken in.

Screeeeeeech!!!! Excuse me? "Spinning around two and a half times?"

She nodded, her eyes resting on me now. "Yeah, I don't think we went around three times because when the car stopped, we were heading in the wrong direction, but I know we went around twice. Almost hit a tree and skidded. You should've seen The Dancer's face! The Actor thought it was fun......" her voice trailed off as she noticed that my face had gone ashen.

Yeah. Okay. If you're thinking that I haven't let myself think through what could have happened, you would be right. It didn't happen. The Dancer handled it. They are fine. Nothing and no one was damaged and all is well.

Did I ever tell you how MathMan used to tease me by calling me "Worst Case Scenario Lisa?" Yeah, well I'll be squeezing the image of The Dancer's little white Celica, carrying my three precious children, spinning in circles on a country road out of my head for many days to come.

This might take some work.......


  1. Yikes, tell those kids to be careful or I'll fling poo at them.

  2. O lordy.

    I'm very glad they're all OK and I'll be sending ear worms and whatever I can to help get that out of your head.

    For what it's worth, I still haven't told my parents about how I spun out in the family station wagon on I-35 on the way to church early one Easter Sunday morning. No impact, no foul, right? Last time I ever spun out though!

    I'm sure the Dancer will have a much better sense of where that point of control/no-control is.

  3. wow, I am so relieved they are all fine...these things happen when you have kids that drive but having to stare the possibility of such a staggering loss right in the eyes will put your priority list on it's head!

    so thankful they are fine. hugs!

  4. I was going to say something until I read Dr Monkey's comment about flinging poo and thought it was really perfect and summed up the whole episode beautifully :)

  5. Whoever taught the Dancer how to drive needs to take a bow.

    A well-handled spinout doesn't just happen. Good for her, also.

  6. They are fine, they are fine, they are fine.
    As a Mom, I can't imagine. My mind would be leaping all over every possible scenario too. I read somewhere that having children was like agreeing to let your heart go walking around outside your body - what an apt description.

  7. I'm glad everything turned out alright though. What caused her to go into a skid might need to be briefly addressed, just so you know and she can process what happened and make a mental note to not let it happen again.

  8. Holy-Effing-Shit! I'm glad everyone's okay.

    It's one thing when we do it; entirley another when our babies spin out. I'll venture to bet there was an upholstery check when they reached their destination!

  9. Yowza, what a learning experience for all involved. Hang in there, breathe deep and know that while it could have been much worse, IT WASN'T.

    Darkblack has it right, that girl has skillz. Be proud!

  10. Oh my! There's a saying, "Never drive faster than your guardian angel can fly." I'm glad The Dancer's angel kept up with her.

    Hugs to all of you. Long, tight hugs.

  11. I am so happy to hear that all is well and no harm was done.

  12. There is nothing scarier than letting your teenaged children loose in a car. (I know exactly what you mean by replaying scenarios.) I'm glad everything is okay.

  13. Holy crap.

    Glad all are well!

    Cupcake and that phantom tummy problem... tell her I'd be glad to administer what our cat is taking for such things. She will be off to school in a minute!

    I am still stuck on spinning around though... Wow.

  14. Just as well you didn't know about it till afterwards! And they are all fine! I am quite relieved though, that my 18 year old has yet to pass his driving test..... Mind you, the thought of some of his friends driving does not fill me with confidence either. Its what happens when they grow up. We just have to trust them and hope for the best.
    Glad yours are all ok!

  15. I'd check the tread depth on those tires - then have a frank discussion about physical limitations and hydroplaning. A wet, empty parking lot used as a skidpad can teach a lot about the limits involved during various climatic conditions. (Or take a course at the Bob Bondurant school of vehicular abuse.)

    Glad everyone was unhurt.

  16. I'm just happy all of them are okay and the car is okay. I am like you, I would be thinking how fast were you driving to spin around twice, did everyone have their seatbelts on and then on and on, thinking what could of happened. I think it is the mother in us. But then I would think, like you, everything is okay and they probably learned a good lesson.

    Kids, gotta love them. Did you say your hair is silver?

  17. Glad to hear your three are all OK.

    Thanks for the comment on my blog.

  18. Whew.


    Breathing sighs of relief with you.

    From Worst Case Scenario Mags.

  19. One of these days I'll have to do a post on the subject of my kids parking a car in the middle of a river -- and to this day neither one will tell us just which one was behind the wheel at the time.

    Ignorance is more than bliss. It's what lets parents sleep at night -- as long as they don't think back at all to their own adolescence and start wondering just how far the apple fell from the tree.

  20. Glad to hear all is well but I think you and Mathman should give serious thought to hired a helicopter chauffeur.

  21. Oh my stars!! Thank goodness they are ok. I have this to look forward to in 6 months...UGH.

    Poor cupcake, tough lesson to learn about the faking sick thing.

    Did the Actor make the baseball team? Are the tryouts all week?

  22. So Dead or Alive - you spin me like a record comes to mind. I recall you spinning around on I65 once upon a time. It's all scary.

    Yes tryouts are all week.

  23. It's a good thing they were in a car, not the station wagon Detroit calls a SUV. Cars will spin around and stay on their wheels whereas a SUV has a higher center of gravity and is more likely to rollover after it starts to spin out.

    When I was in high school, I spent a lot of time practicing spinning out on snow and ice. Also spent a lot of time shoveling my way out of snowbanks and occasionally having to get pulled out of the ditch.

  24. Phew! With everything else going on in your life your kids in a car spinning around in circles is just what you needed to hear, right?

  25. ((((((((((((((Lisa)))))))))))))))
    I am glad they are all OK. Three days after my older nephew got his license I was picking him up to bring him to work for a presentation of Teen Drikning & Driving. When I saw his car, I was glad he was standing next to me. The whole front end was smashed in. The image is still in my mind and my mother still doesn't know (it was her car at one time).

  26. Oh my - thank goodness they're all OK. That's so scary.

  27. Dang. Glad everyone's okay.
    Ignorance is bliss. I keep hearing new stories from my kids about how Steve drove last year...
    "remember that time he was going 100 mph up Hadley Hill..."
    "remember that time we spun out and hit the snowbank on Kent Rd..."

  28. Holy shee-it.... so glad they're all ok.... Thank God for guardian angels!!

  29. Wow, so scary, I'm glad everyone was OK.

    Remind me to tell you sometime about what I did to my '71 Maverick.

  30. Wow! Spinouts are terrifying-- two and a half times, even more so.

    Bravo to Dancer for handling it. My husband, an excellent driver, had a spinout on the beltway in DC a few years back--did a 180, and was very lucky he was alone on the road. We traded our 14 year old sportscar for a car with four wheel drive the next winter. I still count my blessings about that.

    And I'm glad to hear your blessings are all safe and sound!

  31. Oh my god, I missed this. Give the children a hug for me for having the spunk to survive to tell the cautionary tale to their children. You must still be shaken.

  32. Glorioski! This is like my worst nightmares. The thing that shocks the hell out of me is that we can go all day thinking it was no big deal and then have reality changed INTO THE PAST by a few words from someone. It's beyond bearing - we have no control even of things that are already all done with, for Pete's sake. They get whipsawed around in our heads later. See how I'm talking about something else besides the "worst case scenario"? Can't even let my mind go there. Like that story you told about the black truck running the blue car off the road... That stuck in my head for weeks, and still sometimes comes up - and I wasn't even there.

    Two of ours are driving now, too. I'll be picturing the car spinning round and round...

    I hope you get this one out of your system quickly.

  33. Oh, lord. This gave me flashbacks to the Girl's wreck on the scooter.

    As soul-sisters, I can tell you to prepare yourself for the choking sensation and heart palpitations you will experience every time she gets behind the wheel for...well, I'll let you know when mine stop and you'll have a reference point. It's a couple months and counting now.

    I'm so glad they're all okay and that you have one young enough to still spill her guts inappropriately.


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