Friday, May 31, 2019

That one time Zoë got hit by a car

There's been some joking around on the Twitterverse about this vlogging couple being melodramatic about the wife of the couple falling off a cliff. Because they're vloggers they have footage of the accident and it really wasn't that terrible (and they were a little melodramatic about it after the fact, crying and carrying on, and "you’re-whole-world-can-change-in-a-matter-of-seconds.-mine-almost-did.-a-good-reminder-to-be-grateful-for-every-moment-of-it.-the-good-and-the-bad.-the-happy-and-the-sad.-because-you’re-here"-ing [sic] and so forth).

However, I also believe that it was a really scary moment for them, so I don't really like seeing everyone making fun of them.

Having watched my husband fall off a ledge with my baby—and having them emerge from the waterfall wet, bruised, but mostly unscathed—I know it can be terrifying (even if it ends up being no big deal). In the moment it is terrifying because, frankly, a fall doesn't have to be that far to cause a tragedy.

My friend's husband fell off a 100-foot cliff. He's still—miraculously—walking around today.

My husband's uncle fell off a bike. He's a quadriplegic.

Not to sound trite is fragile.

And wildly unpredictable.

We went on a family walk today, as we so often do. Zoë decided she wanted to ride her tricycle, which I told her was fine if she promised to stay ahead of us (because she runs into us when she's behind us).

"And you need to put on your helmet," I reminded her.

"Mom, I have my hood on, see?"

"A hood is not a helmet. That won't protect your head."

"But I don't want to wear a helmet!" she objected. "I won't go fast and I won't crash, I promise!"

"Does your tricycle have wheels?" I asked.

"Yes..." she mumbled.

"Wheels on, helmet on," I said firmly, placing her helmet on her head, buckling it up, and adjusting the straps just so.

And she was off, chasing after Benjamin (who never complains about his helmet, one of his better qualities) on his scooter.

Zoom! went Benjamin.

Zoom! went Zoë.

"Phew!" went their parents as we strolled along behind them, pushing the baby in the stroller.

The children were intense today.

Miriam and Rachel were walking together up ahead, and then suddenly they were sprinting down the sidewalk, screaming. There was a thud—that sickening sound of metal hitting metal—and Miriam began shrieking.

"Was that...a car?!" I yelled to Andrew. "NO!"

And I took off sprinting down the sidewalk as well.

I dropped my phone and shed my sweater and was there, as Andrew would later tell me, "Like, really fast."

Zoë was on the ground, her tricycle askew.

A lady was just stepping out of her car.

"Is she...alright?" the lady whispered, clutching her chest. "I didn't even...the bushes...she just...I didn't..."

Zoë was in my arms somehow. I must have picked her up.

I checked her all over. She was fine.

"I'm so glad she had a helmet on!" the lady said. "And I'm so glad I was going slow. I was just backing out and I didn't even see her! Were her pants already ripped there? Should you check her legs?"

"Yes, yes. Helmet, good, yes. No. Yes. Good idea. Yes, that's an old hole. She's fine. I think she's fine."

I was so jittery I could hardly get a proper sentence out.

"I'm fine!" Zoë said, annoyed about the whole ordeal. "She just knocked me over. Ugh."

She hopped back on her tricycle and zipped on down the sidewalk to catch up with Benjamin.

We made her stop again at the train park so that we could examine her a little more. Her cheek was red, where she said the car hit her, but I don't think it will even bruise.

"So, what exactly happened?" Andrew asked her.

"That car hit me!" she said indignantly, and then shrugged. "But I'm fine. There's no blood, so..."

And off she pedaled again, the little stinker.

At home we had a lecture about the reasons why we always wear our helmets and also why we treat every driveway like an intersection; we have had a ridiculous number of lectures along these lines over the past twelve years. Today we are truly grateful it was such a no-big-deal event.

I'm sure if we were to review the footage (if we had footage), the collision would have been nothing but a small tap and we would have seen that Zoë essentially lost her balance and fell off her tricycle.

And people might laugh about how I frantically ran down the sidewalk screaming.

But in the moment, guys, it was terrifying.

Because you never can tell the moment that's going to rob you of your time with someone.

But, also, like, really it was no big deal. She's not even bleeding, guys.


  1. Ahhhhhh. I read the title and my heart rate went up really high. I am so glad she is alright.

  2. Well that is scary! Glad everything is alright!

  3. Thank goodness, she's fine. I remember several years ago when we mourned with Steven Curtis Chapman's family when his teenage son accidentally ran over his little sister in the family's driveway.

    Glad Zoë is fine!