My girls and I went to visit my mom and step-dad over the weekend.
Since my oldest has her beginners, I try to let her drive everywhere…whenever I remember to.
So this is how it came to be that we were cruising down highway 7 with me happily relaxing in the passenger seat, feeling very pleased that I finally had a chauffeur.
Apparently the monster hunks of metal on wheels racing toward them didn’t faze these guys one bit.
My foot immediately started easing onto my non-existent passenger brake as I stopped breathing completely and pressed back against my seat.
My left hand was sitting in my lap in a deceptively calm manner, ready to shoot out in an instant to grab the steering wheel should my daughters first thought be to save the little creatures by swerving.
Time slowed down immediately as it always does when I’m in dangerous situations.
I glanced at the other vehicles, noting that the SUV beside and slightly in front of us suddenly reduced its speed.
The vehicle in the lane the chicks had just survived crossing, who was further in front, had hit their brakes momentarily before continuing on, narrowly missing mommy duck, chicken, goose, or whatever the hell was hopping across the street.
I remember feeling a slight sense of anger that the driver would not continue trying to slow down safely just to make sure ‘mommy’ made it.
Turning back to the poor creatures now that we were closer, my hand still ready to grab the wheel, I prayed my daughter would make the right choice.
I saw her foot move over and press gently against the brake. Her hands stayed steady.
As I glanced at the creatures again, my own concern instantly evaporated as I realized what was really going on.
Out of the side of my eye, I saw my baby girl visibly relax and knew she had realized as well and made her decision.
As we ran over them, I looked out my window and laughed as I saw one of the ‘chicks’ escape certain death and make it safely to the other side.
It’s amazing how life-like McDonalds garbage can look as you’re barreling toward it at 100 with only seconds to react.
The ‘chicks’ were actually yellow crumpled McChicken wrappers, and the ‘mother’ turned out to be the brown crumpled paper bag the food comes in.
They way they were merrily hopping across the road one after another was creepily lifelike, and enough to have my heart slamming against my chest in preparation for the squishing that would have been done.
And yes, all four of us would have bawled our eyes out if that had happened. No doubt my poor daughter would have instantly given up driving forever.
At least now, I know that she would have chosen to try slowing down carefully rather than swerving. For that, I am very, very grateful.