Being a parent means you get to experience the very outside edges of human emotion. Sometimes it doesn't even have to be YOUR kid...
The other day, I got to experience a moment of terror the likes of which I hadn't touched in years. I was on my way to my sitter's house to pick up the baby. She lives at the end of a court and there are often two little boys kicking a ball back and forth to each other in the street, so I am careful to go verrrrrrrrrry slowly.
Sure enough, as I pulled in, there they were. I slow even further, signal to pull over to the curb and make eye contact with one of them. Suddenly, their baby brother appeared from behind a parked car not even three feet away and ran at the grill of my car with his arms outstretched. This child was so young, I almost couldn't see him. I slammed on my brakes and he was still running and reached out to slap both hands down onto my car.
If I had been going the posted speed limit in this area, I would have crushed this child - this BABY - to death. If it had been last week when there was still ice on this street, I most likely would have still slid right into him. If I had been paying attention to anything but the fact that I knew there were kids in the area... if I had been changing radio stations... I was careful and I was attentive and I DIDN'T kill someone else's baby.
But knowing that I could have? It made me want to vomit.
I got out of the car and the child's father was washing his van in his driveway, completely oblivious to what had happened. "Did you SEE that???" I yelled at him. "Your son ran right AT my car! I could have killed him!"
And... he shrugged. HE SHRUGGED. I was stunned. How can you shrug??? I don't get it.
Worse? He shrugged it off in front of his children, who had seen the whole thing. They saw their little brother run at my car, they saw the crazy lady get out and yell at their dad... and what must it be like to watch your dad act like he didn't care that your baby brother could have gotten run down?
Man. Sometimes life gets on my nerves, but I am counting my every blessing. I could be THAT man.