Guest Post by Jessie
I know that fear is a real thing. I know that there is some psycho babble name for it. l am sure there is some statistic that says on the basis of my age and the condition I have–known as “motherhood”–I am predisposed to a certain amount of fear and it’s reasonable. Though I know lots of other women with my same condition, and I seem to be affected more than most of my girl friends. I can no longer enjoy things like driving the speed limit, watching Dateline, and leaving the house after dark.
Tonight, I was driving my oldest son to his Tae Kwon Do class; it was a special class because he was advancing to the next belt. His normal class is in the early afternoon. During the daylight. This class was at 7 pm–in January. It might as well have been midnight on a full moon if you ask me. It was dark, and worse, it was snowing. Now, I have lived in New England my whole life, driven in the snow, sleet, hail, you name it, but suddenly I was paralyzed. I looked at my eight-year-old in the rear view mirror, and all I can think of is how at any moment a car could slide out of control and end his short life. Or worse! I could lose control of my massive vehicle and careen out of control, injuring or killing someone else and their innocent babies!
I realize at some point that I am actually still driving, though incredibly slowly. Every muscle in my body is tense, white knuckles on the steering wheel, sweat beading on my upper lip, I breathe very deeply and try to calm myself. My kid has been chattering at me this whole time, by the way, something about Green Day and how slow my cell phone is connecting to YouTube I can hear him somewhere in the back of my mind because he will. not. stop. I look up at him and try to say, “Honey, mommy is really trying to concentrate,” but it comes out, “Oh! My! GOD! Will you please give me a break! I am flipping out here!” He doesn’t even care; he just wants to hear Green Day. He also points out that there is about half a millimeter of snow on the ground and that I’m totally embarrassing him by driving like I’m a hundred and four. I don’t even know what he’s talking about. Does he even know what a millimeter is???
Rest assured I do not drive in actual blizzard conditions and/or at night. I know I’m one of “those people,” the people my husband complains about. This was a special situation which called for my special “big girl pants” which I wore, and my son and I lived through the trip home, just in time for an actual real blizzard, which we are enjoying quite comfortably…from the living room window.