Moms Columns & Blogs

Arrive Alive

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October 10, 2010

For a moment, I was shocked stupid…

I was on the way home from a friend’s house on the other side of our neighborhood; it was our ‘first Thursday night of the month’ bridge evening.  I lingered an extra beat at the four-way stop sign while belting out the chorus of my favorite DC Talk song…  Thank goodness I did.

The coupe materialized out of thin air, blew through the stop sign and zoomed past me before I knew what happened…

By the time I turned right, the speeder was already approaching the next stop sign, four-tenths of a mile ahead.  Not only did it fail to stop, the tail lights never even blinked…

I grabbed my phone and began to call the Mint Hill police…until I realized I had no specifics other than it was darkish-blue and going extremely fast...  The only way to get more info was to catch up with the car, which I wasn’t about to attempt…

I stopped for the third and last stop sign before my street.  The car had vanished…

I hoped and prayed the person had arrived at their destination…and was staying put for the night.

I turned into my driveway only to immediately back out again for the headlights exiting the rear of my house.

As the car reached the road, I was shocked stupid again…  Two times in two minutes…

It was THAT car…  I rolled my window down as the driver pulled up beside me…

It was one of Grace’s friends.

“Was that you I saw ignore 3 stop signs while doing twice the speed limit?”  (It’s 25 mph in our neighborhood.)

“Aww, yes m’am.  I’m really sorry but I’m running late and I’m trying to get home before my curfew.  I’m so sorry.”

A chill ran down my spine…

I offered to call her father…  She said no thanks, but promised to slow down the rest of the way home and not to do it again.  Off she went…

It wasn’t until I got out of my car and locked eyes with Grace that I understood…

My daughter had just been IN that car.  As a passive passenger.

They admittedly recognized the danger but chose to ignore it.  Both were far more concerned with the consequences of being late than the risks they took by literally racing the clock. 

Even after what happened to Brian...

Friends, I’m shamelessly begging you.  If you are the parent, relative or friend of a teenage driver or know a teen that will be driving soon, please, please, talk to them about this.  Today.  And do me a favor…pass this request on to someone else…

Ask your child to pull over and call you if they are running late.  Be willing to discuss their ‘punishment’ and make an exception or adjust it, if appropriate.  Also, empower your teen to boldly speak up if they feel someone is driving recklessly and putting them in danger.  Have a standing agreement to pick them up, anytime, anywhere, no questions asked, if need be…

Be sure your child understands the most important thing to you is for them to arrive alive...  Everything else, you can work through later...

I’m pretty sure the father of this young woman hasn’t a clue…  Thankfully, my Father made certain that I do…

Wishing you sunshine and always, hope…tg

Tammy will update her blog on Mondays and Thursdays.  -- Jen, site administrator  

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