Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The end of a short but sweet relationship

This past weekend marked the end of my relationship with my car.

On Saturday afternoon, I cut my head open on the corner of the front door while unloading a bunch of stuff. That was ok. The cut wasn't bad, the edges came together well ... we got over it. But it was the beginning of the end.

Sunday morning was rainy - a fact I did not give enough weight to when driving to church. I hit a pool of surface water on the highway, hydroplaned and spun out, lost control, and slammed my car into the median. Thankfully, I did leave a good amount of distance between me and car in front, as did the people behind me, so no other cars were involved. But there was a lot of front-end damage, and I am pretty darn sure that my car will not be re-joining our family. The airbag deployed - not in my face, as I would have expected, but against my forearm. Which I suppose makes sense, since my arms are between the airbag and my face. So I got a little powder burn from that, but seriously - I am so grateful that that's all. Once the car stopped moving it was crunched into the central median, perpendicular to the direction of traffic. My immediate thought was that if any other vehicles hit the water too, or couldn't stop and hit us, Anna was in the back seat. So I ran around and pulled her out and then just stood there in the rain, bawling and staring at my car! That lasted for about three seconds, because the man in the car behind me came running across the highway and grabbed Anna and put her in his jeep while I got my phone and purse out of the car. Thank the Lord for people who stop and make sure other people are taken care of. The man and his wife (I don't even know their names! Wait - he was John. I never heard what HER name was, though!) drove us off the highway onto Harvard, and I called Mark while they called the police. Anna was crying before I could even undo my seatbelt to get out - I think more from the shock of it than any actual injuries. I got her out of her carseat as soon as we drove the jeep off the highway, and looked her over. When Mark got there he did the same, and we both came to the conclusion that she was ok. We watched her pretty closely for the rest of the day, but she continued to eat, pee, poop, squawk, sit and flap, pull up and stand like normal. Thanks, Lord.

Thankfully, Mark was just in between surgeries when I called him. So he told his attending he'd be leaving to go pick me up (thanks, Dr McGee!). The police got there within less than 10 minutes, and once they got there the other couple left me in their capable care. Mark got there 10 or 15 minutes after that. Someone called a wrecker, who brought me the car so we could get Anna's stroller out of it, and that's the last I saw of it :( I'm sorry, little car!

So now I'm waiting on a call from the insurance adjuster to find out whether it's going to be totalled or if we can repair it. I'm so bummed - we bought this car in October. We'd made all of 4 payments on it. It was a 2005 model with just over 60k miles on it - a really good car! It was going to be our big family car, it had awesome safety ratings (for which I will be eternally grateful!) .... so, I'm bummed.

However, I'm also thankful for a lot of things: we are both alive and well; no other cars were involved; I was not using cruise control, so as soon as I took my foot off the gas the car started to lose speed; I did not remember to fill up at the petrol station on the way to church, so I didn't just blow a full tank of gas (!); we did not yet do the several hundred dollars worth of scheduled maintenance that we were planning to get done this spring; it was raining, which I'm thankful for because the couple that picked us up said there were sparks and even some little flames shooting out of the car; Mark was not in the operating room when I called him; the police officer just wrote a crash report instead of giving me a $200 citation (I nearly fell over when I found out I could have gotten fined for having a wreck! Talk about kicking a horse when it's down!); my insurance pays for a new car seat for Anna; the bank who financed the car in the first place required that we had full coverage on it so all we have to take care of is the deductable; Luke and Tiff just replaced one of their vehicles but haven't sold the old one yet so we are borrowing their extra car .... so we're in a bad situation car-wise, but it could have been a LOT worse. Again - thanks, Lord.

The morning after the wreck, I woke up with possibly the worst pain in my neck that I've ever experienced (except giving birth. But that wasn't my neck.), so I spent the day eating Ibuprofen with an ice pack wrapped around my neck. This morning I felt like a new woman! I am all about ice and NSAIDs. I will probably still go see a good friend of ours who is a DO (Doctor of Osteopathy), though - just in case. And, insurance will cover it. Sweet.

So, little car .... it was a beautiful relationship. I'm so sorry it ended the way it did. I'm hoping we can recover you, but you probably shouldn't hold your breath. Thanks for getting scrunched so that I didn't. RIP.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

That little Bug...

... is almost 9 months old! How did that happen? I have never - until now - understood the mothers who say "My baby is a year old already! Where did time go?!" My train of thought usually went something like, "Come on. Really? It's an entire year! How did you not notice it going by?!" However, now I am that mother. (Well, I'm a little premature. She's still only 9 months old. 'Only'...) In a couple days she will have been outside of me for longer than she was inside of me. I feel like this is a significant milestone to reach. It makes me feel a little bit sad. But also excited. Anna has learned SO much and has grown and developed at such an incredible rate that I can barely do more than sit and be amazed when I look at her. She pulled up on me today; she loves standing, and is good at reaching for things and getting to them. She sits in her Bumbo and gives herself her bottle [rarely; I love snuggling with her while she eats :) ]. She has crossed the Atlantic ocean twice (yet is so far from being able to crawl that I doubt she'll ever make it before just learning to walk) and has mastered her pincer grasp and therefore also Cheerios. She is getting tired of her bottle and wants to eat what we are eating; her face lights up with excitement when she sees me dishing up dinner for me and Mark. She conveys a thousand different feelings and emotions on her face, and loves being outside so much that she could happily live as a nomad.

I have been thinking a lot recently about the privilege and responsibility it is to stay home with her. I know that parenting is totally a two-person job. But the vast majority of Anna's waking hours are spent with me. And as such, I have a massive responsibility and influence over how her character grows and develops! Our pastor spoke a couple months ago on the task of parenting, and recognising and drawing out the potential in our kids. He pointed out that while Mary was the one woman in all of history that was chosen to mother the Son of God, and that Joseph was the only one entrusted with the task of fathering this Child whose father he was not, who were the people who prepared Mary and Joseph to be Jesus' parents? Two people looked at Mary and saw in her the potential for something amazing - and nurtured her to step into that potential and thrive in it, and mother the Creator of the universe.

What is God calling Anna to? What qualities will she need in order to follow His call on her life? And what kind of a mother do I need to be in order to help develop those qualities in her? Is there a task that could be more daunting, challenging, fulfilling, joyful, fun and awesome than raising that little Bug?

I love you, sweet girl!