Thursday, May 28, 2009

In the blink of an eye...

Today I rear ended someone pretty hard that it jolted my three children and I out of our slumber. Yup. I fell asleep at my minivan's wheel in broad daylight for no more then a split second towing my three children. Thankfully no one was hurt except for my ego as my kids commented on my poor driving habits which meant they were okay.

Just minutes before the "accident" we were waiting for an elevator to open at the Cleveland Clinic for one of my follow up eye appointments. The woman inside the elevator smiled when she saw the three kids and I in her path and said, "You have your hands full." It's a typical response to seeing three young children, that I've heard handful of times and always answer, "Yes. And my heart is full too."

But this time my rehearsed answer sparked a different response for as she passed us by, her smile turned into a frown of disgust after taking one whiff of the obnoxious odor coming from the paisley print, plastic lined, Clinique bag my son was holding. "Oh my. You really have your hands full." I let myself step outside of my mommy-on-the-go-I-can-do-anything mode and took one look at us. My son, home from school with the stomach flu, holding his make-shift barf bag. The baby in the stroller, with a stained smile from all of the Popsicles I allowed her to digest from her own battle with the bug. My middle child... well she dressed herself and was quite ready to take on the world.

"You are right. I do have my hands full." I managed to grab her attention before she left the building. It was the first time I ever admitted that. Out loud. I say it to myself all the time as I watch the laundry pile grow taller and taller on my bedroom floor and the kids start using it as "swimming pool." What? You don't let your kids "swim" through laundry piles? I am a mother, with a full heart and full hands, exhaustion comes with the title. No?

On the long drive home there was a lot of "Are we there yet?" and me screaming "Relax guys and close your eyes" and more "How many minutes until we are home?" And then a... "Mom? Why do I keep throwing up?" In which return I desperately replied, "Oh Jay, just close your eyes. God made your body so amazing that it cleans itself out of the germs. You need to throw up to feel better. Throw up and close your eyes." Having sudden unpleasant flashbacks from college with the last statement I was interrupted with yet another whiny question this time from the baby, "Where are we going?" Minutes later all three of them passed out in their goldfish encrusted car seats.

For 30 minutes they slept. And I rejoiced in the silence. My mind wandered. I closed my eyes. Once. Twice. Opened a package of gum. Sang along. Closed my eyes for a third time.... and...

Found myself face-to-face with a jolly man that looked like Teddy Roosevelt who was inspecting the damage done to his bumper. He was incredibly kind and extremely compassionate and in very much of a hurry and declared that there was no damage done to either minivan. My heart was racing as I thanked him and my hands trembled as I took his firm grip to say good-bye.

How fast life could have changed for us with just another blink of an eye.


Someone was really looking out for my full heart and my full over-worked & exhausted hands today. It was a rude awakening to slow down. That I am so thankful for.

68classy comments:

Heather said...

I am so glad to hear that you guys are alright and that no damage was done. ((hugs)))

JustMiss said...

Sweetie, it happens to all of us. Maybe not the hitting of another actual car but you know, the rest. Maybe you happened to run into your Angel today.

xo

rockanddrool said...

well, you're ok. and your kids are ok. don't think of what could have been. that's too scary.
you do need a vacay. and i know EXACTLY where you need to go...
in july. chicago.
xo

Kim said...

Moving to fast and never slowing down is something all moms are guilty of..I agree with Miss.. you had an angel with you today..

So glad you are all okay.. ((HUGS))

Kim said...

I hit publish to quick.. my x's and o's were not attached.. :)
xoxo

just jamie said...

I rear ended a BRAND NEW Mercedes SUV about a year ago. Barely rear ended. Touched. $500 later...

Amen to everyone being okay. A hurt ego is harder to mend than a wallet, somedays...

2 Little Irish Boys said...

Glad you are all ok!!

Jill said...

It happens... in the past year I've rear ended 2 cars, 1 motorcycle, and 1 auto rickshaw... though it was in India - and I wasn't even asleep at the wheel!

Glad everyone was a-ok. Hope your munchkin feels better soon. :)

* TONYA * said...

Wow. So glad everyone is okay, including both vehicles. It can happen so easily. It can happen to anyone. I hope tomorrow is a much better day.

Oh and do you know how freaking excited I am that I get to meet you FINALLY at BlogHer.

Kelley said...

Oh babe. I am clutching my heart at the thought of what could have happened.

I am so glad you are all OK, but you need to look after yourself.

Easier said than done...

Ed said...

I get the hands full comment all of the time. It makes me insane and I just wish I had a snappy retort.

Naomi said...

I'm glad you are just fine too (and that there is no issue with either vehicle) ...

You sound a wee bit exhausted and maybe, just maybe ... you need a morning carved out for just you (no eye appointments, no cleaning up puke, no laundry) ... just you?

Scary Mommy said...

So glad you are all okay!!!! That's so scary.

My stock answer to the hands full remark is always pure agreement. We do have our hands full! I'll take all the sympathy and support I can get. :)

Secret Mom Thoughts said...

So glad everyone is ok.

Al_Pal said...

Gah. Love the "Teddy Roosevelt" part!

I rear-ended a guy once.
Late for class [college], I'd thrown myself together SUPER quick, no coffee or food, and was looking to the right, thinking of offering a girl [obviously another Uni student] a ride, when BAM!

Two cars up was turning left...and I hadn't noticed that people were stopping. Oops.

Funny thing? The guy I hit was a chiropractor...and had raced ahead of me to pass, unsafely, on the bridge a few blocks before. ;p
(Instant Karma?)

SO glad you're all okay!

Marinka said...

OMG. This is just so terrifying. Thank goodness that you are all ok. Take care of yourself, we need you!

Robin said...

I teach Defensive Driving. Do I need to come up there and give you a private class?

sarah said...

Glad you all are ok. Hugs

A Crafty Mom said...

((((HUGS))) I hope you guys get some rest soon . . . I know that exhausted feeling too well. My three all had the stomach bug and some horrible flu a few weeks ago. I don't know how I survived it, it was awful. One day I didn't drive at all b/c I'd had less than 2 hours sleep the whole night. Unreal. I'm glad you guys are ok, it happens to us all. We are only human, and yes, we get tired and make mistakes.

Sending some healthy children vibes your way right now!!!!

p.s. isn't the "hands full" comment SO original???? I get it up here all the time too . . . can't people think of something better than that????

Kel said...

I'm glad you guys are ok - sometimes we all need a good reminder to stop and 'smell' the roses and even, perhaps, enjoy one every now and again! Being a mom isn't easy
~K

LceeL said...

Okay - now THAT'S scary. Thank the Goddess your Guardian Angel was on the job.

Nan Patience said...

glad you're all okay! sounds like you could use a hand...

Lisa said...

oh my. how scary. we all try to be the energizer bunny when we shouldn't. glad you had a scare instead of a tragedy. hugs to you!

Kelly said...

Oh my goodness! I'm happy no one was hurt!! I hope you are all healthy and well rested today!!

Mommy to those Special Ks said...

Oh gosh SO glad you are ok!!!

Jessica said...

I'm glad you guys are ok. It's amazing how quickly things like that can happen and how easily too. I think we have all fallen asleep for a short second at some point. It's always nice to have a reminder that God is always watching over us though.

Heather, Queen of Shake Shake said...

Oh gosh, WHAT a wake up call. I'm glad it wasn't worse. Take care of yourself too!

Life As I Know It said...

wow - glad you are all ok, but how scary, too.

Managed Chaos said...

Thank God you are all alright! I know it's a struggle to keep up with everything (especially with sick kids) and exhaustion is understandable (I live with it myself). Your post is a good lesson for us all to slow down a little.

xoxo

Elisa said...

I'm so glad you are ok!

And may I just say, I hate the "You have your hands full" comment. It just bugs me.

Courtney said...

I am so glad you all are okay. How scary. I have fallen asleep at the wheel too many times & must admit when you realize it, you are so unbelievably scared. Hope you get some rest soon.

Jeve (aka John and Steve) said...

Glad you guys are ok!

BTW- I voted for your blog through Underdogs Unite (under Jasahab). If you get a chance please vote for me too! We are running for four different categories. Here is one of the links:
http://bloggerschoiceawards.com/blogs/show/75529/?utm_source=bloggerschoiceawards&utm_medium=badge&utm_content=bestpopcultureblog

Thanks so much!

John
http://johnandstevearehavingababy.blogspot.com

Jessica said...

Although some of these moments aren't the most pleasant, they can be the most eye-opening. I'm glad that you're all safe and everything's OK.

Get some rest in your spare time! *wink*

Stephanie said...

Hire a babysitter for a day or two every couple of weeks. I've been wanting to do that so bad because, like you, I hear, "boy you've got your hands full" ALL.THE.TIME. I always say, "they're good kids. It's fun." I like your response better so I may be stealing that line. Or hire a housekeeper. Something to take some stress off of you just a little. I'm so glad you're ok!

Don Mills Diva said...

I am SO glad you are okay. Is it possible to get a babysitter, say, one day every two weeks so you can just stay in bed for the day? You sound so tired...

Flea said...

So glad you're all well and whole. Hoping that means Jay's bug is passed. Don't get sick on top of all of this!

AEC said...

A) I love this response "Yes. And my heart is full too."

B) I'm glad everyone is OK! It's scary getting into a car accident. You need some R&R. A weekend getaway, perhaps?

Jaina said...

Oh my goodness, I'm so glad that you are all okay. At least summer is here and hopefully you'll get to slow down a little. I hope everyone gets to feeling better soon. You are all in my prayers.

Every Day Goddess said...

Glad everyone is ok! Good thing your gaurdian angel was with you. Hope everyone is feeling better and you get some well deserved rest!!

Tami

Amy said...

So glad you all are ok.

Are your eyes getting better?

Rachel said...

I am sooo glad you're okay.
I've fallen asleep for a blink before too, however I've never run into anyone.

Good for you for saying out loud, sometimes we need to do that.

I'm proud of you, I think you're amazing.

Hugs to you and all the little classy darlings.

Ringleader said...

My slow down moment came 9 years ago when I was frantically trying to keep pace with 2 small children, a job and a household. One frenetic evening, while dashing to the car to get to Costco before closing, my then 3yo daughter begged to come along- so I absent mindedly buckled her in and sped off, watching the clock and mentally ticking off my list of what I needed to get. On the 10 minute drive there, she fell asleep and I, in my hurry and frantic state... forgot. that. she. was. with. me... I was in the store for about 15 minutes before I realized what I had done, just about passing out from panic, I ditched my full cart and ran out to the car only to find it surrounded by police cruisers. Thank goodness, someone had called 911. She was perfectly fine- but what if she hadn't been? Aside from the humiliation and trauma and almost getting arrested... I was just grateful she was OK.

What made it even harder, is that I have always tried so hard to be a "perfect" mom... and I come pretty close, but that day, this Supermom's cape got a pretty big stain on it that I will never forget!

So Not Mom-a-licious said...

I feel your exhaustion! Glad it was just a little bump. Now tonight, make sure you go to bed before midnight! =)

Forget the laundry and the cleaning...it will be there tomorrow. Trust me on that.

Elaine A. said...

Just so glad it was a minor accident and that everyone was ok. This has almost happened to me several times. It's tiring being a Mommy! (even the gestating part is wearing me out right now!) And, you're lucky you ran into a nice man. I had an accident back in Oct. and the people were so nice. It certainly helps the stress level...

Clare said...

i am so glad you are OK, I know that must have been scary!!

anya said...

That's all it takes - a moment - to change everything. I believe the universe is trying to tell you something. Are you listening?

Kari said...

Like I said on Twitter, I am glad that everyone is okay!!!
GOD certainly was protecting you and your kids! It could have been a lot worse!!! He is ALWAYS watching out for you, and for all of His children!
LOVED the Teddy Roosevelt comparison was hilarious to me.

MANY times I have answered people with, I know I have my hands full. Even when it was just Charlotte, and they experienced HER....I would say, I know! But, I like your response!!! I never thought of it that way. Well, I have, I know my heart is full with these girls, but I never thought to answer that statement in that way.

Ringleader said...

PS-

Glad you are OK and ran into a kindly Teddy Roosevelt type who didn't make a bad situation worse. Also, I hate when people tell me that it looks like my hands are full (it is never meant as a compliment!) and love your response... again with the classy!

Renny said...

Classy Lady, get yourself a babysitter for an hour or two who can just take the kids out while you give yourself a little nap.

Legallyblondemel said...

Scary! Again, I'm so very relieved that you all are safe.

Thought of you today when I heard an NPR story on "reality parenting" blogs & journalism. If I can track down the link, I'll send it along; apparently you're the leader of a growing trend! ;-)

Krystyn said...

Scary. I'm so glad to hear you guys are okay.

*jimaie.marie* said...

i am SO GLAD angels were watching over you and your precious family!!!

Jo said...

Thank goodness you are alright, and thank you for sharing your experience....it certainly put things in perspective for me!

kocham

Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said...

Bless your poor little sleepy heart. I'm glad you're all okay.

Loukia said...

"Just throw up and close your eyes" is the best mommy line I have ever read, I think, in my entire life. That made me laugh.

And thanks for saying you have piles of laundry on your floor. I don't feel so alone anymore!

And yes, you are very lucky that you're all okay! How scary was that? That happened to me, but my kids were not with me. My car was damanged pretty bad. I also ran a stop sign when I was 8 months pregnant with my second son, and drove into some serious traffic and got in a really bad accident. I was in the hospital for observation but after a few hours, ultrasounds and blood work, was sent home. Phew. Driving can be scary, especially when we are so tired! Take care of yourself, mama!

Zoeyjane said...

I'm so happy you're all safe! Please, slow down during the day, and get more rest at night. Or, well, stop driving?

Kate Coveny Hood said...

I have this theory that we almost kill our children numerous times as they are growing up. There is just so much responsibility... And were only human - we make mistakes. Sometimes we don't notice that the infant carrier harness isn't fastened under the baby blanket and drive all the way home through rush hour traffic with our newborn sitting in a make shift catapult. What - did I just admit that???

It's chilling. But you're right - all you can do is be grateful that "nothing happened" and make note to never let that situation occur again (even though it might happen at least one more time - maybe two - But not ME of course - heavens, no).

Jeni said...

You are so right on so many levels with this post. Yep, you do have your hands -and as you said, your heart too, full! For sure.And yes indeed, how in just a blink of an eye our lives can change -drastically too at times. But thank the Good Lord that there was no real damage done other than to your ego and thankfully too, that will heal a lot faster than the injuries that could have resulted!
Scary moments when things like that happen though.

Amy@Bitchin'WivesClub said...

It does happen to all of us, and I, too, have rear-ended another car with my babies in the back. :( In my case, I had a terrible cold and I shouldn't have been driving while looped up on cold medicine.... but someone had to get those kids to school. *pained sigh*

Thankfully no one was hurt (in yr scenario AND mine). :) You will continue to have a full hand and a full hearts and an exhausted body for some time yet, but in the end I am positive you will only remember the full heart part. RIGHT?!?!? (For my own sake, too, I HOPE SO!!!)

Oh, and CONGRATULATIONS!!!! You're like a Cleveland video star!!!!

Noob Mommy said...

Thank goodness everyone is all well and healthy! I'm sure it was a frightening experience nonetheless!

Blessings From Above said...

So glad to hear that everyone is okay and no real damage was done. Hang in there!

((HUGS))

I am P said...

glad youre all ok, we all need to be reminded to slow down once in a while...btw, doesnt every child have goldfish encrusted car seats, mine do ;)

anymommy said...

I am so glad that you are all okay. Every once in a while we need a reminder that we can't do it all and we have to slow down a little.

I get that same comment all the time! Love your answer.

Allison Says said...

Oh no! I'm so glad that everyone and everything was okay. Phew! That must have been absolutely horrifying.

Caroline said...

Oh my! I am so so gald your angel was watching over you. It is amazing how God reminds us of things. I just today was going a little too fast (as my life seems to be sometimes) and I saw a little plastic child near the road...yes, PLASTIC! It was a sign that read "please slow down" with a little one posing to bolt. I was reminded so quickly of my actions. I tend to always be in a hurry, always running late. We do have our hands full dont we? I love your response "and my heart is too". I am so very happy that it was just a reminder. Maybe you need to take it easy sweetie. Try to rest a little more. It is hard to do that, I know. I read once "housework will always be there no matter what we do today" so don't worry about the piles of crap! LOL

Denise said...

I'm glad everyone was okay. That said, it did make for a good story. I will always think differently of Clinique!

Angela said...

Thank goodness everyone is alright! I am always deathly afraid of dozing off at the wheel. I slap myself silly, but sometimes that doesn't even help. Usually if I'm too far gone, I'll pull over for a nap. It's the darn kids giving off sleepy vibes when they sleep in the car.

Steph said...

I am glad you and your children are Ok, I love your response to the "you have your hands full" comment I may need to steal it.

 

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