Last night I’m driving to meet my family for dinner at a restaurant called Ay! Caramba in Fayetteville. I pull up to a light behind a motorcycle and in my head I have a little dialog about, “Whoops! Pulled up to far!” Phhhfffthht! Flattened motorcycle.
Now, I know this is not appropriate. You don’t have to tell me. I’m a 43 year old woman. I know this.
About 6 years ago my own husband was Phhhfffthht! in an intersection a block away from this very spot. A woman making a left turn had not seen him and had just mowed him right over. We (I and our four sons) were 2 cars back and I got out of the car and walked over to his body in the middle of the intersection and waited for the ambulance to come get him.
Motorcycles are the most vulnerable vehicles on the road. I always tell my kids to imagine throwing a tomato full force against the wall. That’s like your head hitting the pavement in a motorcycle accident. We’re fragile.
As I sat in my car behind this motorcyclist it occurred to me that this may be my 18 year old son who has just moved out and bought himself a motorcycle, probably the single most rebellious thing you can do as a teenager (fortunately he’s not into drinking and drugs). And as I noticed his shoes and the frame of his body I realized that this was indeed my son, meeting us for dinner.
Sean, my 14 year old said it about the same time as I did, “That’s Levi!”
If I, a mother who has seen her husband in the street from a motorcycle accident with a child who owns a motorcycle, can have that inner dialog about running over a motorcyclist, I know my kid has to be super careful out there.
I have to say, once again, that motherhood is an exercise in letting go.