Friday, May 18, 2012

Her first fender bender...and my heart!

The very first fender bender.
A right of passage for any driver.
Not so much fun when you have only had your driver's license for just under 2 months.

It was a beautiful day. I had worked the night before, so I was asleep when the phone rang. As I was walking out the door to get to the car pool line, the phone rang again. It was my husband. "She is okay, but........Emily was in an accident on her way to work!"
She had called him first. He was out of town for a meeting and was still an hour away from home. After picking Zac up from school, I headed straight to the scene. It was hard to get to her because the traffic was backed up and very congested. I had spoken to her and knew she was okay, but she was unsure of how to handle herself with the other drivers and the police officer.
When I finally arrived, Zac and I had to cross 4 lanes of traffic to get to the median where all 3 cars were lined up in the left turn lane. Apparently and according to the police report, a car had made an illegal u-turn at the median causing the first car in the turn lane to slam on brakes. The next car hit the first car, then Emily hit the second car...and it hit the first car again. Two separate accidents..and the dude who made the u-turn..gone and enjoying the beautiful day! Of course!
Everyone involved was okay. The first car was one of Emily's co-workers at Chick-fila who was also on her way to work. Her Mom told me that her daughter had been in a similar accident the previous week...but in that accident, she was at the back of the line...just like Emily. Strange?  The driver of the second car was a very nice lady. Her 3 year old son was in the car seat in the back seat eating cheerios and watching a movie.
Again...everyone was fine and for that we are all so very thankful!

So...why was that not enough. Why is it that once I realized that no one was hurt, I immediately moved from the extremely thankful Mom,  to the "I told you so" Mom....and the "See, you are not invincible" Mom. ..and the "What is the best way to teach her some responsibility here?" Mom. 
Of course, I did not say these things...but it was all could think about....the finances, the insurance calls and the inconvenience of her not having a car for a few weeks.
She wasn't texting, or talking on the phone, or looking in the floor for something, or typing an address in the GPS, or putting on make-up, or painting her nails. All of which I have done at some point while driving. Yes!
No...She was engaged and paying attention. She just wasn't experienced enough to see ahead, notice the u-turn dude and realize that she had better slow way down. 
Hopefully now...she will realize that she isn't invincible, things can happen. They can happen quickly and it can be scary. Hopefully she will learn a little responsibility whether it is by paying the deductible or increasing her savings account to help out with the insurance payments. Hopefully she will remember that when we say things like slow down and pay attention...she will take us seriously and know that we have been driving for many years, and can actually teach her a thing or two.
And hopefully for me....over the next few days as I process this whole experience, I will come to some understanding of myself. How do I fix my gratitude gauge? I want to be grateful first....and always.
My summer book club has chosen Ann Voskamps "1000 Gifts". I got the email about 5 weeks ago. I haven't started the book yet, but I think it's time I do.

I got an email from the other young girl's Mom. She had gotten to the accident before me and had an iphone to take some photos. She sent the photos and this message....  
"I hope Emily is doing ok. She handled it very well. I’m sure you’re very proud of her.
Please call me if you need anything."

 Proud? Yes! Absolutely! And thankful beyond measure!
Again, I was reminded of God's grace and of how much I have to be thankful for.
Have a wonderful weekend and please drive safely!

What was your first fender bender like?
Have you read 1000 Gifts?


  1. Hi friend. This made me tear up for some reason. I know as a mom you have so many emotions over this. I am so glad that she is ok. I think you have such a wonderful daughter and the great thing is you know she was driving safely and not doing anything wrong. It's such a mess to deal with a car wreck, so I feel for you on that! I think your daughter will learn many lessons from this and it will make her an ever better driver. You should be proud! It sounds like the situation was handled well on all ends. I understand all the feeling you are experiencing though. hugs!

    I hope you have a good weekend!

  2. Oh Man! Not good. I'm glad Emily is okay and came out of this with a lesson learned.

  3. I am so happy she is ok. I know it will take you guys a while to get over it. I remember my first accident, someone else's fault too and it was really scary.

  4. Oh wow! So glad that she and everyone else involved is okay!! My parents gave Kyle my grandmother's car this past weekend, and I'm feeling nervous. He has to get his permit first and take Driver's Ed, but just thinking about him driving just gives me butterflies!

  5. my oldest is only 13 and this is exactly what keeps me awake at night - already!! i'm so so glad that she's ok, and especially glad for you that this episode will only make her a better driver, but man oh man have my own worries and woes ever increased tenfold - does my baby HAVE to grow up?!

  6. That’s the kind of fender-bender that could be pretty traumatic, especially since one of the cars involved had a toddler on the backseat. Good thing nobody got hurt, and nothing was damaged badly except for a few dents in the car – something that an auto repair shop and your insurance could help you deal with easily. I hope that’s the last fender-bender she’ll ever experience. Drive safely!

    Dale Collier @ Anderson Rogers Insurance