November 18, 2021

A Parent's Biggest Fear

Nobody tells you just how much you will worry when you become a parent--you worry about everything! 

As babies: Are they eating enough? Are they sleeping enough? Are they sleeping too much? Are they still breathing? (on your mind all night long). Do they need to go to the hospital for that fever? Are they developing at the rate they are supposed to? 

As young children: Do they have friends at school? Are they at the learning level they should be at? Should I let them go to that birthday party even though I don't know the parents? Who can I trust to leave them alone with? What if they run into the street and get hit by a car? What if they get lost at the zoo? Or kidnapped?

As teens: Are they happy? Are their friends "good" kids? Are they avoiding peer pressure to drink or vape or do drugs? What if this boy/girl breaks their heart? Will they do well enough at try-outs to make that sports team they want to be on so badly? 

And every time they leave the house: Will they come home safely?

Every day when my kids leave, I always hug them and say, "I love you. Be careful. I hope you have a great day."

The kids hear it so much that they don't really comprehend what I'm saying when I tell them to be careful. I'm sure it goes in one ear and out the other. When I say "be careful", I am basically stating that I'm giving up all control that I have over their safety. Those words are the only thing left that I can do before it's out of my hands. I am just trusting that they will come home in one piece. But there is always that little pit of worry in my stomach until they are home, safe and sound.

Today, I got the phone call that every single parent fears: Noah was in a car accident. A bad one.

He's okay--by some miracle, all four kids that were in the car are a little sore, but uninjured. Noah wasn't the one driving, and I'm grateful for that. (Noah is a fantastic driver, but I still worry about the other drivers that don't pay attention and could hit him.) Today, he was sitting in the back seat on the passenger side. His friend "S" was driving.

"S" wasn't doing anything totally reckless. She wasn't texting or speeding. They were on a road with an unposted speed limit (which means it's 55 mph). The houses were kind of sporadic--spread among lots of land. They were going back to the college after a break between their classes. "R" was in the passenger seat holding a phone with directions on it, and "S" wanted to see the directions herself, so she reached over to grab the phone from "R".

It was only a moment, but it was when she did that, she lost control of the wheel. As she tried to correct it to avoid going off the road, she overcorrected. The car went across the other lane (I am SO THANKFUL that there wasn't a car coming toward them in that lane--it would have been a head-on collision at 55+ miles per hour). There was a yard that had a small incline just off the road. According to the person who was driving behind them, the car hit that incline and went airborne, then rolled over two times before stopping just next to a telephone pole.

The car had rolled over two times. I couldn't stop thinking about that. All four of the kids had their seatbelts on, which I am sure saved them from severe injury. "R" said it happened so fast that he couldn't really think, but he just remembers being upside down.

They got SO LUCKY on several accounts: 1) They didn't hit another vehicle; 2) They didn't hit any sort of structure; 3) They'd rolled over a large bush that cushioned the landing; and 4) The cable that holds the telephone pole in place (you know the ones with the yellow plastic wrapped around them?) stopped the car from rolling into the actual telephone pole. Noah's side of the car would have hit the pole.

The doors wouldn't open, so they all had to climb out through the back. When I got the phone call, I left immediately (I love the "Find My Friends" app on my phone so that I can see his location--I just asked for directions to that location). It took me 25 minutes to get there.

I couldn't believe it when I saw the car. The tires had hit the ground so hard that they were embedded in the ground. The bush that they had rolled over was really big, but you could see where it had flattened out from the car. The car was pressed up hard against the telephone pole cable, which is what had kept it from continuing to roll.

The kids seemed full of adrenaline, but they weren't shaken up or anything. They just kept saying how lucky they were. A little while later, "S" (the driver) got pretty emotional because she felt terrible that she'd been the one driving. I'm not at all upset with her--we've all reached for something in our glove box or purse, or pressed a button on the radio. It only takes a second for something like that to happen.

I can't even express how grateful I am that none of the kids were hurt. They are all honestly "good kids"--the kind of friends that you really want your teenager to have--and I would have been devastated if any of them got hurt.

Normally, I write about my running on Thursdays, but this was... quite a day. The week was quite a week, too. I'll write about that later. I'm just counting my blessings today as a parent!


  1. How terrifying! I'm so glad Noah and the other kids were uninjured. A car can be replaced, but they certainly cannot. Hope Noah's feeling okay and you are too.

  2. Oh goodness! I'm so glad they are all okay. Sending lots of love and calm vibes. Thanks always for sharing your vulnerable moments with us. Hugs too.

  3. I am so glad it turned out the way it did. S will never forget it, and I hope she settles it in her soul and isn't fearful driving. When I was a new driver, I swerved to miss a turtle. I hit 7 trees, ending up wedged between 2 trees. By the grace of God I was okay. That experience made me a very cautious driver.
    You are exactly right about the worry for our's always there.

  4. Oh my goodness Katie my heart literally jumped into my throat. I am SO happy to hear that everyone is okay. And I really hope Noah's friend, the driver, is mentally okay. Accidents happen and the main thing to focus on here is that no is physically injured. Cars and items can all be replaced! Sending lots of love to your whole family and all the family/friends involved. I'll be thinking of you guys! <3

  5. I have boys the same age as yours. This driving business is terrifying. I'm glad they are ok!

  6. Hugs. That is so scary.

  7. what a scary call to get! so thankful they are okay.

  8. Big momma bear (((hugs))). My kids were together in their first car accident a couple years ago (not son's fault but he was driving himself and daughter and a friend home from school and someone turned in front of him and it was a T-bone accident). I got the call...daughter started with "Mom don't freak out. We're ok." I did freak out some, but I was so glad they were ok even if the truck was totaled. I was super glad we'd bought son a total old school all metal beater pickup. It took the wreck like a champ. So glad that the kids are ok. They will be feeling that tossing about for a few days I'm sure. Glad the guy wire (that is what those are called) and the bush kept it from being worse. (((hugs))) again.

  9. Oh my goodness. So glad Noah and friends are Ok!

  10. So glad everyone is OK and unhurt. The horrible pit you must have felt is just unimaginable. Give your son a virtual hug from all your readers and I hope you and Jerry are okay as well.

  11. So, so glad they are all ok.

  12. So happy your son and the other kids are OK! How scary!

  13. My college roommate was changing the channel on the radio when she missed a turn, broke through a fence, and hit (killed) a cow. It only takes a second. So very glad the kids are ok. How scary for everyone.

  14. Probably wierd to say,but I'm thinking after this happened, they all have a better sense of how horrible things happen so fast. We all have close calls, and it's so scarey! We all feel the same about how lucky they were that they're O.K. How are you doing? The anxiety must have been severe. That vehicle looks so bad.

  15. So glad all the kids are ok.

  16. Ugh you’re so right, that IS a parent’s worse nightmare!! One I have experience with both of my kids. I’m so sorry this happened but thank God Noah is ok!! So glad all the kids are ok. I’m sure “S” is dealing with some guilt but you’re absolutely right that we have all reached for something while driving. You obviously taught him well since he was wearing his seatbelt and considering that likely saved him from being injured, I’m sure he will never go without wearing it every time he gets in a car! So glad he’s ok❤️

  17. Oh my! My heart dropped when I saw the post title. I’m so glad everyone is ok!


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