Lessons From the Car Accident

My husband and daughter were in a car accident today.

Yeah, that is not a fun sentence to type.  They were on the way to the zoo with another SAHD and his 18 mo. old daughter when they T-boned another car.  Everyone had their seatbelts/carseats securely fastened so all the injuries were related to that.  Aellyn has ugly bruises on both her shoulders and a rub-abrasion on her neck.  She is also limping like an old man but the doctor said she is just sore from the impact with the carseat harness.  No broken bones.  No concussion. God bless car seats.

I feel so emotionally drained by the whole day that I can hardly write about it.

Here are some things I learned:

My daughter will rear-face until her knees hit her eyeballs or she reaches the upper weight limit of the seat.  Hopefully by then they’ll come out with another seat that will work till she’s 22.

I need to have my phone with me at all times at work.  I was in a meeting in my own building so I left my cell phone in my office.  It took a small army of people and the better part of an hour to find me.  My parents left work and beat me to my own daughter.

My whole family needs to distribute better In Case of Emergency information.  Pete didn’t know how to get a hold of my dad or most of my coworkers save one.  I work in a frickin’ library – all he needed was the main number.  Oh, and it won’t matter because I’ll have my cell phone on me.

I always tell Pete to cultivate good karma on the highway.  By this I mean when some jerk cuts you off instead of getting mad and calling him a jerk just give him the benefit of the doubt.  You have no idea what his day has been like and why he is in such a hurry.  It might not just be asshattery.

Dear folks I nearly ran off the road in my mad dash home – it isn’t asshattery.  I promise.

Dear EMT folks – when a pre-verbal child is involved in a horrific, car-crushing accident just take her to the ER.  Kthanxbai.

My coworkers rock.  I live an hour from work but, without thought, one of them was going to drive me home.  They all stayed by me (and would have tied me down I think) until they felt I was ok to drive.  (shhh, don’t tell them about the aforementioned “mad dash”.)

After calling my family I called my good friend Dana.  Not only did I know she’d pray for Aellyn but I knew she would mobilize the entirety of North East Ohio’s Kick Ass Moms to help.  And, thanks to facebook, many remote-but-like-minded crunchy mamas helped too.  Neighbors might be strangers these days but that doesn’t mean I don’t have a village.  I felt all the good wishes and prayers of the dozens of women who contacted me via text, email, facebook, and message board.  It meant more to me than I can express.

There is no force in the universe more powerful that this thing called a Mother’s Love.  I could move mountains.  Kill with my bare hands.  Run a marathon.  It does not surprise me at all that the awesome power of this love causes 5 foot tall women to lift cars off of their children.

Oh, wait.  There is a force more powerful – God’s grace.  Thank You.

And what I still need to learn:

Can a car seat that isn’t visibly damaged be used after an accident?

Can a mother age 10 years in 10 seconds?


15 thoughts on “Lessons From the Car Accident

  1. Oh my goodness, that was terrifying to read. I’m so glad everyone is ok. Hope you can all nurse each other back to physical and mental health this weekend. ((hugs))


  2. You just made me cry and wish more than ever I was there to do SOMETHING!
    I’ve been thinking of you all day and am so happy to see that there are no major injuries.
    I almost started to send you some links on car seats after accidents, but I know you’ll research the heck out of it anyway 🙂 I am fairly certain, though, that replacing a car seat it a pretty standard thing in insurance claims.


  3. First off, if she got bruises from the accident, I’d definitely replace the car seat.


    I’m just crying. That’s really horrible. You poor thing, and your poor husband and little girl. And everyone else involved. Bless your hearts.

    And not really related, but today was just a bad day for going to the zoo! We tried to go today and it was just awful.


  4. Oh, my goodness, I missed this whole thing today! How horrible. I’m so glad everyone’s OK.

    I agree with the others that replacing a seat is standard after any big impact, but as Dionna said, it’s supposed to be covered by insurance. I’ve even heard of some good companies (Britax) replacing seats.

    I am another extended rear-facing advocate here, and only wish I could ride rear-facing! 🙂

    So relieved you’re all OK. Sorry you had to go through that stress today, and hope Aellyn — and you! — feel better soon.


  5. How horrible! I’m so glad they seem fine, can you take a few days off until you’re all feeling less shaky?

    I’d be ditching the car seat.

    Good luck over the next few days.


  6. Yes you can age 5 years in a single minute. I am now 63 yrs old and I’m pretty sure I will have more gray hair than this morning when the roots grow out. Hearing my granddaughter screaming over the phone was the most horrifying feeling. I had to calm myself by knowing that a cry like that meant she was strong and not hurt too badly. Daddy was very shaky sounding and we got there as fast as we could. The most wonderful thing was the smile I got from Aellyn when we arrived. So thankful today for many things and hope that dad and baby arent too sore. Love you all so very much


  7. Eek! I’m glad everyone was (mostly) okay, even though the bruises etc are a bummer! I’m pretty sure my carseat instruction manual says not to use it after an accident, because you never know what kind of internal damage has been done to it by the accident, and it’s structural integrity might be totally ruined even if it looks fine. Anyway, I’d replace it for sure!


  8. oh wow how horrible… my heart is in my mouth just reading this!

    So glad everyone is pretty much ok…. but oh yes I totally think a mother can age ten years in ten seconds…. it’s a powerful force love.

    And I’m with the others… replace the car seat, even if it looks ok.

    I’m a totally new reader to your blog but just had to comment… that connection between mothers is strong and I’m glad you have been able to gain comfort from it!


  9. I’m sorry I missed this earlier and I am glad everyone is okay. I can’t imagine the panic you must have felt. It just makes me want to throw up from my toes for you. Wishing you a quiet and loving weekend with your family. xx


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  11. How terrifying! I’m so glad the car seat prevented any worse injuries. You are totally correct about a Mother’s Love. I haven’t noticed the power of it lessening, even though my children are 20 and 25.


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