My oldest son, Will, is a very good driver. Other parents had told me that I'd be doing a lot more praying after Will got his license, and I have to admit that's the truth. I've found myself thinking about his safety in ways I hadn't thought for years--back to the kinds of thoughts I had when he was a little boy and one day just ventured off down the sidewalk. . . going to town? Or just going. Now he's going again.
Last Friday he was going, and making a careful job of it. Unfortunately, not all drivers observe one of the rules that Will always follows: No Cell Phone Usage While Driving. In fact, some drivers will speed along, heedless of red lights, describing their whereabouts to friends, until they are forcibly stopped. Not stopped from cell phone usage, but Stopped from speeding along. Such was the case when an elderly woman rear-ended Will at a busy intersection last Friday afternoon.
Boy, was he mad. After all, he had done everything right. He was stopped at the red light, just as he was supposed to be. The woman was still talking on her cell phone even after she had smashed into him. She did end her call, finally, and it turns out that she was from out of town, was lost, and had called a friend for directions. If only she had pulled off the road before making the call.
Oh, well. Things happen. Thank God I listened to my husband when he was considering what kind of car that Will should drive. Will was driving a very safe car. The rear end of the car was badly damaged, but Will was fine. He was mad, and he wasn't particularly complimentary of elderly female cell-phone-talking drivers, but he was unhurt.
It is an amazing thing to arrive at the scene of an accident, to see two cars badly smashed, and to see your child sitting in one of those cars. The what-might-have-beens are too awful to contemplate, so for the most part you just don't contemplate them: there's only so much your heart can take. So you concentrate on the police report, and on calling for a tow truck, and on getting the car to the body shop, and on talking with insurance adjusters, and on arranging for a rental car, and on the countless other little inconveniences of being the victim of an accident. And you are so thankful that you're only dealing with inconveniences.
One day soon the car will be repaired, and Will will be off driving again, no doubt keeping a weather eye for old ladies on cell phones.
And I? Oh, I'll be praying. Maybe I'll pray while I'm driving. I probably won't be making many phone calls.