Signs of Maturity
Today was one of those days where life completely throws you an unexpected curve and you are suddenly faced with yourself from a past moment.
I got up with my to do list in my mind: Take my kids to school, pick up a book from the library on intoxication in nineteenth century lit, laundry, schedule bill payments, get gas, pack for my weekend trip, head to work for a meeting followed by ceremony for the nurses finishing their new grad program…you know.
Instead of completing all that, I drove home from Starbucks after dropping the girls off at school. I was thinking of sleeping some more before my busy to do list got under way, when just as I headed down a neighborhood street, a car pulled out from the curb straight into mine. I wasn’t going very fast but her front left bumper left a scrape all along my passenger side. I sighed and pulled over. I got out my insurance and headed to the other car where a twentyish year old girl cried on the phone behind the wheel. There was a car seat in the back seat. She wasn’t hurt and neither was I, she was obviously stressed about what she just did. I wonder if she had been on the phone when she pulled out.
She got out and begged me not to report it, crying about how she didn’t have a license, insurance or money. She was wearing scrubs and had a badge on with her name on it. She said she was a single mother and didn’t want to get arrested for not having a license. I thought she was being a tad over dramatic. I told her she wasn’t going to get arrested but my car had enough damage that I couldn’t just ignore it. She pleaded her case some more and I told her I understood but sometimes we have to do the responsible thing. She did not believe me.
She got upset with me and said I didn’t care about her, only my car, and then proceeded to ask why I was driving so fast and why didn’t I see her. And then I was kind of taken aback. I sighed and said I wasn’t going fast, and that she needs to look if it is clear before she pulls into traffic. I did feel bad for her. In fact, as my friends Stephanie said, she’s probably lucky it was me she hit and not someone else. I didn’t yell or threaten her. When no one is injured the police don’t come out to do a report. So she didn’t have to have a police report filed with her not having a license.
I really thought about how hard this lesson was going to be for her. Because I was once a single mother. And I once took the chance of driving my car that I had bought for $500 without insurance. And I got into a car accident that cost me my car, three days of work, and a $1250 ticket for not having insurance. I was 20 when that happened. I had no family to call to fix it. And it pretty much sucked. Sometimes being a grown up does.
I took pictures of my car and hers, took her name and number down. I noticed her car had an out-of-state license plate. I noted where she worked from her badge and she left. I reported it to my insurance. But I wasn’t angry.
In fact, in spite of that, I had a really good day. My insurance agent referred me to a place to take my car. I dropped it off in hopes that it will have most of the work done while I am on my trip. I don’t have a car to drive right now, but my husband has his. I was reminded how good my life is now. And I wondered if there was a purpose for the universe throwing me this curve.
I prayed about it, so that I could let go of the whole thing. Let the insurance take car of things and, as I said to my daughter, there is no use crying over spilled milk. I spent the rest of the day doing laundry, downloading songs from iTunes, dancing around the house, walking to meet my kids on their way home from school and eating dinner with my husband. I did pack, but I never got to a lot of the other things. But that’s okay with me.
If you have known me for a long time, you would know that this was not a typical reaction for me to have. Recently I have found myself more laid back. I welcome a forced opportunity to slow down and just wait. I am grateful for my life. I used to think those people who were all about being grateful and blessed seemed annoying and forced. But most of the time I wanted to feel that way if it was really possible. It’s possible.