Tuesday, May 4, 2010

On driving, and "Corked," by Kathryn Borel

This was a two-schoolbus accident day! Thank G-d everyone is fine, but this is indeed a strange confluence of events. This morning my oldest daughter called me to say that her school bus had been hit. A car, driven by another high schooler, rear-ended her bus. Thankfully, no one was hurt. Later this morning, after dropping my two other kids at their school, I drove past the flashing light of the police car, the tow truck, the offending car, with its hood scrunched up and its door open wide, and the inward-looking teenager, now with his mother.

Once home I caught up on my morning blogs, and found an essay by Kathryn Borel that tells the story of how she hit a pedestrian, nine years back, and how the weight of that event has never left her. Apparently, Laura Bush has a similar story in her new memoir.

This afternoon I picked up my two chauffered kids from school, only to hear that the schoolbus my son was about to get on earlier that day -- it was due to take him back to school from his fieldtrip in Brownburg -- had its stop sign torn off by a side-swipe-and-run lawn service trailer.

I can't help but feel pummeled by two lessons here. First, I can't help but think of how easy it is to let your full attention slip away just for a moment, and the devastating consequences that can follow. All the kids were lucky today -- my daughter, my son, their busmates, and the kid who smashed his car into their bus.

I also can't help but thinking about secrets, how toxic and weighty something becomes once shame's ugly hands fall upon it. The link to Borel's essay is below. I'm going to have my daughter, who is almost driving age, read it tonight. I'll be reading Borel's "Corked", and Laura Bush's memoir soon.

Laura Bush's deadly car crash and my own

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