“Please do not drive around in this. There are trees down everywhere. And please do not take your younger brother with you.”
Those were the words I pleaded with my new driver in the hurricane aftermath.
As you might guess, curiosity got the best of him and this “I-am-trying-hard-not-to-control-you-anymore” mama said a prayer as she watched her boys skip out the door and drive away.
Needing a few groceries since we were “out of food” (#alwayshungryteens), I ventured out to the store, gingerly driving around downed branches and wires hanging precariously, wondering if I should have taken my own advice.
On my way back to the car, grocery shopping done, my phone rang.
It was Son One.
“Mom, I got in an accident.”
After saying some not-so-kind things and yelling (just a little) that this was “the exact reason” I didn’t want him going out, I remembered to ask this question, “Are you okay? Is your brother okay?”
He sighed. “Yes, Mom.”
“But my car is not.”
Now came the hard part. How could I get him (and his tag-along brother)? They were more than 10 miles away.
After calling the tow service, I instructed my boys to find a safe(ish) place on the side of the road, far away from all scary wires and dangling branches.
Over two hours later, groceries wilting and melting, my mama’s heart determined to reach her boys (still a little bit angry, I might add), I arrived on the scene.
There they sat, their over six-foot-tall crumpled bodies, heads down, on the grassy slope aside a busy intersection in a strange town.
In that moment, instead of two giant almost-men who had “defied” my very sound mom advice, I saw my two little boys, needing their mom.
Not needing her to yell.
Not needing her to say “I told you so.”
Not needing her to tell them they were “going to reap the consequences” and that “I was not going to pay a dime for the car to be fixed.”
Just needing their mom.
Needing her to scoop them up.
Needing her to show them grace.
Needing her to drive them home, what I want to be the safest space of all.
Safe to make choices.
Safe to make mistakes.
Safe to make “the call.”
P.S. I put a little money in his car accident fund jar. How could I not?