It was late in the afternoon, yesterday, and the Peanut and I were on our way back from one of our local playgrounds. She was in her stroller, where she doesn't always want to be, lately. She is getting so big -- she'll be 3 in a week! And now she wants to walk everywhere. But thank God yesterday she was in her stroller.
We were crossing a side street not far from our house. I glanced both ways before stepping into the intersection. I took a few steps and then I saw it: a tank of a gray Mercedes sedan, barreling down this suburban street at an unimaginable speed. (50, 60 mph?) I clutched the stroller handles and sprinted out of the way, reaching the sidewalk again a minute or two before the car came to a screeching halt, the smell of burnt rubber heavy in the air.
The driver and his passenger were talking, gesturing, not really paying attention. They turned right and sped off.
I pulled the stroller to the far end of the sidewalk, leaned against a building, tore my cell phone from my purse, called 911. The dispatcher told me a couple of times to slow down, because I was shaking with rage and she couldn't understand me. I was transferred to the local police department, and I gave them the license number, which I got a good look at before the car took off. The police told me they would look for the guy.
I called the police station back later in the evening and was told they were not able to find him.
What a metaphor, I thought. This is what it is to be alive now, and especially what it is to be a parent--always to be running for cover from some damn thing. Praying like hell that we're going to make it.