In some ways I am sorry for yelling yesterday. I know I yelled loud. Adrenaline kicked in and Mother Bear came out. I now know you were scared.
You see there are three very special boys to me – VERY special. They frequently play on the sidewalk that you careened over. There are at least nine other neighborhood children who are all very dear friends. Children that we cannot replace. Children who play in our quiet street in our quiet development. A black-hole could have easily been created in our hearts that day had only one of our precious jewels from heaven been standing on the sidewalk between my neighbor’s house and the stop sign.
You didn’t mean to plow literally through, over and on top of the stop sign. Your head wasn’t on straight when you took the turn at nearly 50 mph in a 25mph development thinking you could beat your buddy in the car in front of you by cutting down our street.
Maybe you didn’t know that a car can become a weapon when the driver loses control. The tree you swerved around, the grass you destroyed, the sidewalk you left your tire-rubber on had no control over your car. In fact, you didn’t even have control of your car.
But I wasn’t sure if you were going to keep going when you got back on the road. So I yelled. I told you to
… and you did. Your heart was racing, sweat was running down your face, you had no idea that could happen to you, the invincible teenage driver.
While we waited for the police to arrive, neighbors came out of their houses to find out what that terrible sound of brakes, burning rubber and metal to metal was from. We were all relieved that no one was hurt. But you were scared! Very scared. At 16 you were afraid to cry there in the street but you were shaking. Adrenaline had kicked in and then I saw the let down. The fear over what could have happened. What did happen. So in some ways I am sorry that I yelled because you were genuinely sorry. I think your own fear and realization that you really messed up was a pretty good life-lesson!
The USAA Educational Foundation has some great articles for you to share with your teenage-driver and they make a great review for you too:
Safe On The Road
Behind The Wheel: A Practice Driving Guide For Teens And Parents
But one thing has struck me. Maybe. Just Maybe. A life was saved yesterday.
Maybe you will slow down when driving in a housing development. Maybe you will realize you aren’t driving a toy, you are driving a weapon.
Possibly our kids won’t play in the street quite as much. You see we talked to them about it. What happened. What mistakes you made. How glad we were that they weren’t playing where they so often play. Possibly my own children will be more aware of their surroundings, cars backing up, watching for distracted drivers, realizing that they aren’t invincible on their bicycles.
I know I thanked God multiple times in the hours after your accident. I hope you did too.
– Leanne Kocsis, mother of four, neighborhood friend of many and am just glad that you weren’t hurt yourself