I almost ran over my kid today. In the blink of an eye, his life flashed before me. I saw my little six-year-old, flung upward and then down, hitting the cold, cruel asphalt with a thud.
He had been riding on top of the hood of my car, with his sister, as I inched up the driveway. Suddenly, I sped up a bit faster, wanting to give the two an even greater thrill. A bit of bad judgment on my part – a momentary lapse of reason. A sudden desire to be the “fun” parent.
I’ve never indulged my precious angels with this type of “piggy back” ride. That’s a treat they get from their dad. After arriving home from work, he stops his car at our mailbox at the bottom of the hill and the kids run down and hop on. Of course, he creeps at about 1 mph with them onboard - the sensible way, if you can call allowing your kids to ride on top of your car, sensible.
Meanwhile, today, when my child hit the ground, I stopped. When I heard the screams, I feared that I didn’t stop in time. In the three seconds it must have taken me to put the car in park and rush out to him, I envisioned him lying unconscious, the life knocked out of him.
But instead, I found him sitting up, holding his arm, which had just a few new scratches on it. My first thought: I didn't hit him. My second thought: Thank
G-d he’s o.k. And then: I wonder what the neighbors are thinking, listening to my son howling at the top of his lungs.
And now, as I sit here, replaying the incident in my head, my heart still beating a little bit faster, feeling more grateful than ever that my boy, and girl, are happy and well, I marvel at the fragility of everything. In a second, everything can change. Or not.
I almost ran over my kid today. But I didn’t.