Monday, September 24, 2007

Sprinting to safety

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.


Misty said...

true. Parenting certainly gives us an entirely different outlook/approach to life...

I hate that they can NEVER find them in that situation. What? Doesn't the DMV have their info? isn't that one of the reasons we pay outragious registration fees? They could have gone straight to his house and scared the bloody hell out of him!

Fraulein said...

Maybe this is just a sign that I am turning into an old cranky person (well, another sign, I guess) but I cannot deal with the way people drive. Just yesterday on the way to work I had to go up somebody's driveway to get out of the way of a giant dump truck that was heading towards me ON THE WRONG SIDE OF THE ROAD, in my freaking lane, again in a suburban area. The maniac driver was illegally passing several cars in front of him that were apparently going to slow for him.

And yes, I have no idea why the cops can't just go to these people's houses when you actually provide them with a license number!!