Last night we got in a wreck on the way to Private Ryan's mother's house. For the past month or so we have been going over there every week for Friday dinner, trying to make sure she sees her son before he ships out in April, and setting a habit for myself and the girls to adhere to while he is gone so that she still gets to see the children even though the relationship between she and I is a little strained these days. I don't know what it is, but there seems to be a white elephant in the room with me and Private Ryan's mom these days, and I'm pretty sure she wouldn't tell me what it was even if I asked. Then again, maybe once Private Ryan is gone she will surprise me and let loose with whatever it is that she's been thinking for the past months. But I digress ...
We were on the way over for dinner and were about a mile from her house. We had just come out of a school zone, the girls were quiet in the backseat, and I was walking my Nintendog so he wouldn't get bored and run away from home. I heard Private Ryan mutter something and looked up just as my stylus flew from my hand, my DSi shut on my finger, and my children were jolted as the front passenger quarter panel of our car collided smartly with the rear driver-side bumper of the maroon van in front of us. I hadn't been looking the whole time, but from what Private Ryan says, it seems that the van had slowed down to turn left into a subdivision and we didn't have enough time to stop properly. Private Ryan was able to keep the damage to a minimum though, slamming the brakes and jerking the wheel to the left meant that the van only had a "bumped" bumper and we got a mutilated quarter panel, a busted windshield wiper fluid reservoir, and a busted radiator fluid reservoir. It is fortunate for us because even though the car is now something I am definitely ashamed to be seen in, it is drivable. It will take Teenbybop to school so we don't have to put her on the bus, it will transport my daughters to doctors if they are needed ... it will suffice even if it is far from satisfying.
But I am furious at Private Ryan because all he can manage to say is "It was an accident, I didn't see them." I am not unreasonable ... I realize that if he could turn the clocks back and have another go at it, he'd have been paying attention. He'd go back in a second and undo that wreck if he could. And he is thankful that no one was hurt, thankful that our car is still fine, and that the other car was relatively undamaged. But I'm still so angry. What if it hadn't been a van that he "didn't see"? We were about half a mile from a school ... what if it had been someone else's child? What if someone had been coming on the other side of the road and he had hit them when he swerved to avoid the van? What if one of the children had been hurt?
These are all questions I won't bother trying to answer, since it was a van that he hit. It wasn't someone else's precious child. And neither of my precious children are injured. Teenybop was shaken and a little frightened, and Piglet was rather rudely awakened in the backseat ... but right now Teenybop is just fine, watching Spongebob on tv and Piglet is sleeping peacefully beside me on the couch. Last night was the second night in a row that she slept all the way through, and I seem to be the only one injured ... I think I have a touch of whiplash, but it isn't incapacitating and I will get better in time. So through my anger, I am thankful that my daughters are unscathed, that my body is relatively uninjured, that our car is still able to transport our family ... and though I am still so angry at him, I am thankful that Private Ryan is okay. It could have been a lot worse.