Thursday, April 17, 2014

LMBO - An Accident - While Texting - Who Would've Thunk It?

Back in March, I spent close to the entire month sick - flu, bronchitis, ear infections - it was tons of fun. Our sons don't have their licenses yet. It's just not on their radar as something they care about so why keep the insurance company fat and happy? 

Our sons were often grabbing rides home with friends in the afternoon. One day, I received the text all parents dread: "We're gonna be late. XXXX had an accident." I'll give more on the details in a bit, but yes, texting was involved in the accident.

It was minor, but even scarier to me was the realization that I had never, ever discussed with our teens (who can drive, just don't care about it), what to do in the case of an accident. Never. Ever. Occurred. To. Me. Duh... I also haven't shown them how to check the oil or change a tire. Those lessons are coming. (might hand those off to hubby... though I do know how thanks to Daddy, and brothers.)

So I sat down, and walked them both through my rules of what to do, and in case it's helpful to anyone out there who might also have a duh moment (I can't be the only thoughtless parent...I a warped way.)

1 - Never leave the scene of an accident. At your age, I don't care how minor it is, stay there. Enjoy the scenery, watch the gawkers, but stay put. The exception to this is if you are on a dark, deserted road. Especially important for young female drivers, but applicable to any age or gender. Some will hit your car on purpose. Listen to your instincts. Don't stay put, go to a local police station or well lit, populated area, and call 911. Explain the situation, you will NOT get in trouble for this.

2 - Call your parents or guardians. We WANT to know. We will instantly move into Supreme Protector Parental Mode, and be there. If for some reason, we can't be there, call your approved list. Just like in elementary school, when you knew it was ok for Aunt JuneBug to pick you up, but never climb in the car with Auntie CrazyLoon, same thing. You, and your parents should discuss what responsible adults should be called. (Side note to parents/guardians - Might be a good idea to let those responsible adults know they are on the hook. Also make sure your kid has these wonderful people in their phone.)

3 - Who is your insurance agent, and carrier? Contact number for them? The police, and other driver will ask for that. Make sure they have the proof of insurance, and know where it is in the car. And find out the other driver's information, too. This isn't a one-way street. Don't let them convince you it is. Maybe it is, but let others help with that decision.

4 - Our longest discussion involved this next piece of advice. There will be those who are offended - sorry - my blog - my warped view. DO NOT carry on a conversation with the other driver. It's ok to make sure everyone is alright. It is not OK to admit guilt or alleviate the other driver's guilt. (No saying things like, 'I'm sorry, I should have noticed you' - sliding into my lane where I already was...). Unfortunately these days, finger pointing is the norm, as is the ubiquitous lawsuit. Wait for your parents, and let them handle it. You may speak to the police, and certainly answer their questions. But in this day of recording devices on phones, never assume the other driver is a good, and generous soul. Sorry, but don't.

Now about the accident. Did you assume the teen driver was texting? I would have. But noooo, the middle aged woman who hit him was texting, and rear ended him at a stoplight. So this next piece of advice is for all drivers, PUT DOWN THE FREAKING PHONE. C'mon people. You are not the excellent driver while texting/surfing/dialing/talking that you think you are. It's the same principle as none of us look as young as we think we do. Same thing. Accept it.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

A Real Housewife....

I'm a loser. Worthless. My time has not been well spent. I have consumed bon bons by the truckload while consuming the truths of daytime tv. "The Doctors", and "Dr. Phil" are my gurus, providing medical help with the power of the remote control while not requiring me to move off my couch. My colonic cleanse will resume in 3, 2, 1...tmi...

OK - now that some of that is out of my system. I am truly none of those things. I am not a loser. My time has been very well spent, I never watch daytime tv, and I'm not sure where bon bons exist. As for the colonic cleanse, that's what collards are for, y'all.

I finally actually got a real interview for a job! Then I made it to the second round! And I didn't get it. The people were great, really, but the gap, it's always about the gap, and I ain't talking about the thigh gap.

I've been out of the workforce (as determined by society), for a number of years. No where on your resume do you get a slot for the following:

Our older child has severe ADHD. He has gone from a child who was constantly complained about by teachers, to a high school junior who is well behaved, and considerate. After being told that he "isn't very bright", and "doesn't know what my other kids know" (just a sample of comments endured), he is in the Beta Club, and on the Math team. He has letters from schools as far away as Cal Berkeley, Northwestern, the University of Chicago, to all the schools close by, and in our state. How? Persistence, flexibility, research, and prayer, lots of prayer - still a work in progress.

Our younger son had health issues, and a self confidence issue. He is a Master Sergeant in Air Force Junior ROTC, and is working on his Eagle Scout. Oh, straight A's, too. How? Patience, kindness, and I have I mentioned prayer yet?

Now - because I have a hot button about this, let me pause and say - my solution of staying at home is not the solution for ANYONE ELSE! At no point do I want my rant, err, nah, we're gonna stay with rant, to be interpreted as an ultimatum as the right way to raise children. If there is one thing I have learned from being a mother, it's humility. Each one of us has unique children, and unique circumstances, and we try our best.

But I could do with a little less humility. Why is my time so undervalued by society that a new college graduate is more desirable, and viewed as having a better skill set? I have actually had my accounting skills questioned (BS - Accounting - they haven't changed the whole debit/credit system...). I've done quite a bit of volunteer work, almost all centered around my accounting skills. I was told that would help. Maybe a little, but the questions always go back to what have I done these years...

I've honed my skills for working with difficult people. I've furthered my ability to doggedly pursue solutions. I am patient, and calm in a crisis....

And I don't give up easily...