My son cheated Death yesterday.
I’m sure he wishes that he hadn’t teased it quite so hard, because it did leave him with multiple bruises and a cracked rib.
What my son is now, is a walking (thank-you, thank-you) advertisement for seat belt use, because that (and the now permanently crumpled crumple zone on Jenny’s little Civic) is all that stood between him and a rather pointy and solid cement highway median.
You know those medians that stand between divided highways, the ones where you are meant to choose to either miss it on the left or miss it on the right? That is, unfortunately, where Dean’s overworked body and brain decided to call it an early night and take a nap, leaving Jenny’s car traveling at ramming speed straight ahead.
There’s nothing like a hurt child (well, he’s my child – offspring if you must) to push you out of your comfort zone. I drove to the hospital in downtown Portland (of course, I first had to print out map-it instructions even though I’ve been there many, many times as a passenger), follow Dean into the exam room so that somebody besides a stunned accident victim would hear any diagnoses and/or instructions, and then drive Dean and Jenny to the closest 24-hour pharmacy that ended up being, like, 20 miles away somewhere in Nofe-east, then drive them home, and then find my way back to the highway without map-it directions (I actually had printed map-it directions from the hospital back to my house, but those turned out to be unusable. I only took one wrong turn, which required several correcting turns.)
That, of course, is all easier than waking up in a car that is several feet shorter than it was the last time you checked, with an abrasion that looks like someone tried to tattoo a seatbelt onto your chest, and shards of your CD collection in your shoes.
Thanks to Honda, for making excellent crumple zones, even on their cheap models. Thanks to Jenny, for continuing our “put your seat belt on” mantra, because, up to now, it has never come naturally to Dean. Thanks to God, Jesus, the Greater Power, Allah, the Buddha, Zeus, Odin, Isis, Krishna, and the Great Lobster. I owe you one.