so we had some friends over for the week from Tennessee. We had 4 adults, 6 kids and one dog in our house. The 10 of us were all together for a total of 6 days and the kids didn’t get in one fight, shed a single tear, or get their feelings hurt. Absolutely amazing considering it takes about 30 minutes of playing with the neighborhood children for someone to start crying or coming to me about the unfairness of it all!
So it was refreshing not to have to play referee for 6 whole days. There were plenty of, “please don’t roller blade in our house! Please don’t stand on chairs! Please don’t touch ANYTHING with the face paint on your hands!”. But rules and guidelines came from parents and the children complied.
The 10 of us travelled to New Smyrna to stay at my sister’s (in-law’s) house on the beach for 3 days. It was great to see the kids running from the house to the beach and giggling the whole time. I could have stayed there another 3 days. Who are we kidding, I secretly wish I lived there!
We were packing up to leave and saying our goodbyes on Thursday. As our crew was heading home, it had been raining, the roads were wet, we were driving off the island and there was a line of cars ahead of us. I panicked and slammed on the brakes. My front wheels locked up and I began to hydroplane. I was headed straight for the car in front of me so I guided the car onto the median and promptly met a tree. Luckily, we completely dodged the car in front of us. Glad we did too, because the car behind us slammed into the one in front of us.
Luckily in the whole accident, no-one was hurt. My front airbags deployed and I got a little burned on my forearms. The car behind us had their airbags deploy also. Other than the deployed airbags, there were no major complications. Physically that is.
Abby was destroyed emotionally. She was sitting in the 3rd row and said she saw the tree and balloons (air bags) come out of the steering wheel. Again I had to realize the girls were tired (we loosened our reigns on their sleeping schedule while company was here) and missing their friends. Greg and I were unusually and remarkably calm, telling her , “We don’t care about the car. What we care about is our family. The important thing is that everyone is ok. We can always get a new car, we can’t replace you!” That seemed to calm her down.
Cecilia and Phoebe were also incredibly calm. So calm in fact, Cecilia soon fell asleep. She was extra tired from the disruption in her sleep schedule for 6 whole days. Phoebe kept looking at Abby saying, “I’m not crying Abby. Why are you crying? It’s ok Abby, stop crying.”
Then my sister came to help us out. As soon as I saw her, tears welled up in my eyes. I tried to hold it together for the girls, but there’s something about seeing family that just makes it ok to let go. Abby finally said, “I’m just so glad I still have my family!” which really made it difficult to hold back my tears.
And so that was an ending to a most eventful 6 days. Maybe not the ending I was hoping for, but an ending none-the-less. We were talking about replacing the van at some point anyway. Maybe not this soon, but again, it’s just a car. I am thankful Greg was in the car with me (not sure how calm I would have been had he not been there). I am thankful our family is ok and also for the fact that we didn’t hit anyone else.
Days later, Abby is still talking about the accident. I think it made a significant impact on her to the point, when she turns 16 maybe she will be an extra cautious driver. I’m trying to pull something educational from this traumatic time.