Monday, June 18, 2007


This post doesn't say anything about sex-ed, I'm just talking for a second here.

Both our teenagers are driving now. It seems like I'm handing out twenties-for-gas like candy these days. They say they're looking for jobs but ...

It seems like the news recently has been full of teenagers and car accidents. Those four Virginia kids, killed after graduation, unthinkable. Really, I just can't think about it.

I'm a person who can't stand to watch the news stories about bad things happening to young people. I'm not usually like this about things, but that's something I just have to put out of my mind.

So you can imagine how I felt yesterday when my wife called me from Iowa to tell me that our daughter, who was over in Ocean City with friends, had just been in a pretty bad accident. Not that mothers are psychic or anything, but my wife "just happened" to call her right after the wreck.

I immediately called my daughter's cell phone. She was still standing there at the scene. They were flying the driver to the hospital in Salisbury. My daughter had been in the back seat with a seatbelt on, and had bumped her head a little bit, but she was OK. In a strange town, the girl driving had taken a wrong-way turn onto a one-way street, and they got t-boned and spun around into the median. The car was totalled. There was no drinking or anything involved, they were just going back to their room from the beach to get their stuff to come home. Youthful inexperience combined with bad luck.

My daughter, who's eighteen now, was very cool on the phone. She gets that from both sides. My wife goes into nurse mode when disaster strikes, she figures out how to stop the bleeding and triages everybody and then starts cleaning up the mess. She breaks down afterwards. Me, I get analytical in those situations, looking at what needs to be done and who can do it, and making sure everything is taken care of. Sometimes I break down afterwards, sometimes it's years later -- once I was on an airplane that landed with some mechanical problems after circling National about a dozen times, and I was a mess for about a week, just jumpy and strange. But at the time stuff is going on, I'm cool, my wife's cool, our daughter is cool. On the phone she spoke slowly and clearly, sentences were packed with facts, precise, concise; I was proud of her. Of all the flaws she could have inherited, at least she got something good.

My son is friends with the kid who owns the car, which he had loaned to these other kids. He was so proud of that car. He'd done the whole woofer, neon thing to it, he'd make you wipe your feet before he'd let you in. And now it's scrap.

The driver got CAT-scanned and x-rayed and she had a broken arm and chemical burns from the airbag, but otherwise it doesn't appear there were serious injuries. My daughter got home about three in the morning, she's got a bump on her head -- this was a convertible with the roof down, and she hit that with the back of her head. Can you imagine if they hadn't had their seatbelts on?

I'm not going to think about it.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am glad your children have such a caring and unconditionally loving parents (unlike those people of PFOX and CRC who only love their children "conditionally").

My thoughts are with you and your family an all of those involved with this automotive accident.

-MCPS Employee

June 18, 2007 2:26 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

MCPS Employee, while I appreciate your sentiments, I think the folks in the CRC would feel just the same way I do about their children in this kind of situation. They love their kids, we differ in our opinions about other things, but I don't question the way they feel about their families.


June 18, 2007 2:48 PM  
Blogger Orin Ryssman said...

Thank goodness everyone appears to be OK. In such instances it is good to remember that THINGS are replaceable. PEOPLE are not. Best wishes to all in in a speedy recovery.

June 18, 2007 4:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is nice to be able to agree with Orrin 100%.

June 18, 2007 4:26 PM  
Blogger Dana Beyer, M.D. said...

I agree with Jim, Orin and David. I'm glad all are well.

June 18, 2007 5:08 PM  
Blogger Robert said...

Good to hear that all the kids are

June 18, 2007 8:13 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

Everybody, I appreciate your concern. This isn't really just about me and my kid, I think the reason I wrote about it here is because we all know it can happen to any of us. It's one thing to fight over whether the schools should teach this or that, but ... I don't care who it is, the tragedy of something bad happening to your child is overwhelming.

So it's not just me and mine -- my kid's OK, her friends are OK, I hope yours are, too.

(And I hope something terrible didn't happen to Robert in the middle of that last sentence.)


June 18, 2007 8:30 PM  

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