Look both ways.
Car bearing down.
Time only for a wheel jerk.
Lifeblood dumping on asphalt. (But green, not red.)
Two girls getting out of two cars. Whole, healthy.
My daughter apologetic. Abjectly. Kicking self for her momentary (oh-so-human) lapse.
Other girl cheerily hoping her own car is totalled (says she’s tired of this one.)
Cell phones call in the cavalry (first police, then dad, then a friend to stand on the corner and console her while waiting for dad to arrive with duct tape and coolant.)
Daughter’s crunched car sadly leaks in a nearby parking lot.
Other girl’s car roars to life.
They exchange paperwork. Daughter hands out Tootsie Rolls all around.
Other girl chirps, “I love chocolate.” and “I wish we could have met in a happier moment,” before driving away cheerily.
Daughter later wryly says, “For a wreck, it was pretty darned civilized.”
Besides my daughter’s chagrin with herself?
A radiator. A bumper. Maybe a hood. Doubtless a few other expensive bits of metal and plastic.
But my daughter doesn’t have a scratch.
And neither does my heart.
I have received mercy today. Great mercy. And so has my daughter. At this moment she is too frustrated with herself to feel the mercy, so thick in the air of this house.
But I grasp it. I wrap myself in it. I revel in it. I am grateful enough for both of us.