Friday, July 12, 2013

Deer: 1, Car: 0, Ryan: oblivious

Around 12:30pm yesterday I was driving home from the gym via the Boston Post Road. I was in the right lane of a four-lane section, focusing on avoiding the construction zone, when I felt something hit my rear driver-side door. An instant later, there was a deer staring me in the face through my windshield.

So first I'm all

And in the rear view mirror I see the deer continue its sprint across the road, and it's all
like, "Ha ha, I crossed three lanes of Route 1 traffic just to mess with you, puny human! I am indestructible!"

And then I noticed my whole body was covered in tiny shards of glass. And I looked around.

The whole left side of my car is damaged. First the deer hit the back door,
then it somehow flipped around and hit my window and fender,
Note the deer fur where my side mirror used to be.
and finally it smashed its head into the windshield

and gave me the evil eye.

As I stood on the side of the road waiting for the tow truck, I texted a friend to tell her what had happened. Her youngest son, who is quickly becoming one of Ryan's best friends, first wanted to make sure Ryan was ok (yes, he was safely at school), and then wanted to know if I was dead or bloody. These seemed like reasonable questions for a young boy to ask.

Stu came home early to meet Ryan at the school bus while I dealt with the insurance company and the auto body shop and the rental car. When he told Ryan what had happened, Ryan's first question was, "Where is the car?" This was followed by one or two more questions about the whereabouts of the car, and then he lost interest.

When I finally got home, Ryan met me at the door and ran to... see the rental car. "Where is the blue car? Where's the bumper sticker? Do we keep this car?"

I don't think he had any idea that anything bad could have happened to me. This might be rooted in a lack of understanding of cause and effect, or a childish belief that Mommy is indestructible. Probably more the first than the last.

Today I tried testing this point a bit further. I said "Wow, I'm glad I was wearing my seatbelt, because otherwise I could have gotten hurt."

"You could have gotten hurt?" he repeated. Echolalia usually indicates that he is listening but may not have processed the words yet.

"Yes," I continued, "if I hadn't been wearing my seatbelt, my head would have hit the windshield and my face would be very badly hurt."

"Where your car, Mommy?"

I showed Ryan the photos above in the draft of this post. "Can we watch the movie of when the deer hits your car?"

Um, no, there's no video of that as far as I know.

"Can I see Spongebob?"


Yeah, he doesn't get it at all.

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