The magnitude of the skirmish I had with my car on Saturday is finally sinking in. For the 4th time in six years, I backed it out without closing the rear hatch door. The first three times I was able to shove the loose panel back into place. I’ve tried this a few times since Saturday, to no avail. Today I tried to use the rear wiper and it made a noise that led me to cringe. There is now a rectangular piece dangling down by a wire, hanging over my license plate.
The one thing that all four of these accidents have in common is that each time they’ve happened, I’ve found myself in a terrible rush. Saturday was no exception. Gordie was away skiing in Utah, and Whitney was at a friend’s house. Tom and Hadley were sitting in the car, and I was rushing to get Tom to hockey. (Side note: if this rushing around followed by bang-up is a sign that I should not be a hockey mom, I’ll take it). I frantically threw the car in reverse and stepped on the gas. That’s when I heard the too-familiar bang followed by the sensation that my car neither could nor should go backwards any further.
Tom, (age 7) the most rule-oriented of my children, was wide-eyed in the back seat. He leaned over his shoulder to assess the situation, and shouted in a panicked voice, “Mom, you need to close that door!” Wanting to downplay my irresponsible driving skills, I said nothing, and promptly got out to close the door. “Mom, that did not sound very good!” he continued, looking sternly at me, awaiting my explanation. Channeling Chevy Chase as Clark Griswold, I proclaimed in a high-pitched nervous voice, “Don’t worry, Tom! We’ll be OK. Accidents happen!” Silent for a few seconds, he looked at me straight-on, furrowed his brow, and said, “Mom, you just broke the car, and that’s a real problem.”
Knowing full-well that my accident was going to be costly, I could do nothing but sit in my seat and laugh for a few moment. A few nicks and bruises are not insurmountable, and my car remains the ultimate kid-mobile, and at 130,000 miles, she’s got a long way to go. If I can remain focused on my goal of driving her into the ground instead of into my garage again, all will be well. And, thank goodness I’m blessed with such a responsible co-pilot to keep me in line!