It is a glorious fall day here. The sun is shining but the threat of summer heat no longer lives in its rays. 70*F (roughtly 21*C) a smattering of clouds and a cool breeze. A more perfect day could not be imagined. Well there is one ingredient I would add if I could....Nevertheless.
The kids and I went for a bike ride single file along a road out of town. We ride against on-coming traffic so we can see them coming and get over for them. I noticed my son's bike seat was turned slightly to the side and asked him if he had noticed. My daughter asked me to look at how loose her seat was and how she could swivel it to one side. He stopped to see for himself. She turned to see if I was noticing her seat.
What I saw I could not prevent. I saw her smashing into my son staring at his bicycle seat. I saw her wheel crash into his and throw her to into the ditch. I saw all the things that could have happened. Broken bleeding limbs. And me helpless to prevent it.
What is it about an imminent accident that slows time, heightens our awareness, that breaks me from myself so that I can watch what is happening, shout at myself to say something do something, anything to prevent it, and yet remain helpless behind it. Unmoving. Inactive.
And so, they picked themselves up, showed me their scrapes, and we turned and headed for home. They will not long think of this, except perhaps to remember that when you are behind, you must watch the front to see if it stops. And if you are the front, you must make sure the behind sees you stop.
But what of me? *sigh* It is the stuff of nightmares. To stand helplessly by while my children face danger and suffering unable to prevent it. The only comfort I can offer myself is that I am doing everything in my power to teach them to avoid what they can and face what they cannot.