October 24, 2005
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Apparently, higher powers have determined that I'm not in shape and I need more exercise than just working out and curling a few times each week. Yes, I've started riding my bicycle to work again - but not by choice, though.
Nine days ago on Saturday, October 15 2005, I was driving from my house to a friend's house, taking his five year old son Carter back home after he was over visiting and playing with my daughter. We never made it... about half way there, at a four way stop, we got into an auto accident.
The short version of the accident is this: it was my turn to go, but the other driver wasn't paying attention so he went as well and then ran into my van. Nobody was injured. However, the actual details of the accident and the assignment of liability aren't nearly as interesting as five year old Carter's take on the whole situation.
At the time of the accident, Carter was securely strapped into a child booster seat. But I found that as soon as it was over and my head was clearing and starting to take in all of the details, Carter had his seat belt unbuckled and was asking me questions.
"Why did that car hit us?"
"I don't know; maybe he thought it was his turn to go."
"His car looks wrecked." (as he's peering at the damage through the windows)
"Yes, it does."
"Is our van stronger than his car?"
"Yes, I think it is." (the other vehicle was a small sedan)
"Is our van wrecked?"
"It most likely has some damage."
"Why didn't he stop? Did he mean to hit us?"
"I'm pretty sure it was an accident. I don't think he meant to hit us."
"Are the police going to come?"
"I think so."
"Is he in trouble?"
"I'm not sure."
"Didn't he see our van?"
"No, it looks like he didn't see us."
"I don't know."
"The van is pretty big."
"Yes, you're right."
After the rapid fire interrogation slowed down a bit, and I was sure Carter was OK, I got out of the van and talked with the other driver about the accident. When I returned from that talk, Carter was back at it again:
"Was his car broken?"
"Yes, it's in bad shape."
"Is the van broken?"
"Yes. I don't think we can drive it. I phoned your Dad, and he's on the way to pick us up."
"How will my Dad know where we are?"
"I told him on the phone."
"But we're in the middle of the street. How can he find us?"
"Oh, I'm sure he won't be able to miss it."
"Did you ask him why he hit us?"
"He says he didn't see us."
"But our van is big."
"So is he in trouble for hitting us?"
"I don't know. The police are coming now."
"Did our van break his car more than his car broke our van?"
"Because the van is bigger, right?"
"I suppose so."
At this point, I'm thinking that Carter is starting to formulate a TV commercial in his mind about the virtues of driving a van instead of a car.
What's most interesting to me is that given this experience of being in an auto accident, Carter's first reaction wasn't fear or shock but simply curiosity. Here's a new situation, full of new sensations, and he's just trying to reason it out and learn from it.
My emotions were somewhat different.
Posted by Hammer at October 24, 2005 12:52 PM
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