"God only knows the times my life was threatened just today;
A reckless car ran out of gas before it ran my way.
Near misses all around me, accidents unknown,
Though I never see with human eyes the hands that lead me home."
That was one of my favorite Amy Grant songs when I was a kid--"Angels Watching Over Me." I'm not really sure what I think about the whole angels thing--I think popular culture has probably overemphasized their role in our lives, but hey, there are worse ways to warp your spirituality. Anyway, I digress. The reason I've been thinking about that song so much tonight is because I had one of those guardian angel moments this evening when some kid in a fancy car took a turn at who knows how fast, jumped a median, and slammed into my van while I waited for a red light to change.
It's really weird to see a car coming at you and to know there's nothing you can do about it. The only thing I thought before he hit me was, "Oh boy, he just lost control. And now he's gonna hit me." I'll admit it, I didn't think about the fact that Abby was in the backseat. Does this make me a bad mom? Maybe that would have been the next thought, had there been time for me to have another thought. Or maybe it was part of that guardian angel thing--I wasn't scared at all. My life didn't flash before my eyes--and I've had that happen, the last time I was in an accident, though that time there was a lot of careening around on the road and slamming into stuff and airbags popping, so there was a lot more time to panic and think about what was going to happen next. But this time...I don't know, it was more like the feeling you get when you realize that, say, you're water heater burst and there's going to be a lot of mess to clean up: "Aw crap, there goes my afternoon."
We weren't hurt. The airbags didn't even go off. He wasn't coming at us at full speed, and he hit us at an angle, and on the side of the end of the car, so we didn't even get the full brunt of the impact. Abby had been crying already, annoyed that I turned off her VeggieTales music, and when we got hit she went silent for a second and then started to wail, but it was obvious it was just the shock of the impact and not from pain. When I got her into my lap and gave her my phone she was content. Given the fact that she was tired (I'd just left the house to take her out for her afternoon nap) and hungry, she was a real trooper for the hour that we were dealing with things. It's amazing how long a 17-month-old can be entertained with a cellphone and a wallet.
So now we have all sorts of fun ahead of us with our insurance and the other driver's insurance and car repairs and rentals and buying a new careseat for Abby (which just figures: that one was brand new--but California law requires that you replace a carseat that has been in a crash). Blah. And as the night's gone on my neck and back and shoulder and wrist have been aching more and more, so I'm probably in for some chiropractic visits too. But given what it could have been, this is no big deal. No big deal at all. My baby is okay, I'm okay, the car is driveable, we have insurance and so did the other guy.