I'm an attentive driver about 98.9% of the time - and that 1.1% of the time it's not me texting or checking Facebook on my phone; it's typically me trying to find music on the radio that doesn't completely suck.
Sitting at the gas station exit yesterday waiting for an open spot in traffic, I suddenly heard a loud *HONK* to the rear of my car. I instantly turned around thinking someone was angry at me for doing something idiotic. Turns out it was just another truck that was attempting to pull out of a space at the same time she was. I like to think it was just a courtesy honk to let the other driver know. [I think I'm being optimistic..]
Anyway, as that debacle came to a close and adrenaline was still pumping through my veins due to the earlier run in with the thought of having made another driver angry, I found an opening in traffic and pulled onto the road. This gas station is right at the corner of a not-very-busy intersection, so the stop light doesn't turn much for the small street that crosses through. Unfortunately at that moment, the light had turned green to let them go.
This was just as I was passing through the intersection.
While the light was red.
Like Santa's Suit red.
Not green, Mal.
Luckily for me and Adelaide, there was only one car passing through as the light turned green. They politely honked at me, as if to say "hey, dumbass - the light's red." Though if it were me in the other car, I would've said it in a much more colorful way.
Immediately I felt like crawling into a hole. Not because I was embarrassed. Of course I felt like a dipshit since I ran a red light. It's a pretty simple concept; green - go, red - stop, yellow - eh, use discretion.
But that wasn't the part that bothered me so much. I immediately looked down at my belly as if Addi could see through my pale skin and was scared of her mother's driving.
I was ashamed because what if that car hadn't been paying attention like me? What if he would've ran RIGHT into my side of the car? I couldn't give a rat's ass if I got hurt, but what about my little girl?
A whole new set of fears have come to light since that second pink line showed up. And none of them is centered around me; they're concerning my child. Feeling her kick has put my life completely in to perspective:
I don't matter any more. My job is to protect her.
I have nightmares about being abducted and someone trying to hurt me, which in turn would hurt her. I go on a walk and jump immediately in to the grass when a car comes, for fear that it might hit me. I keep my phone with me at all times, just in case I need to dial 911 if I'm in danger.
It's like I'm in a freaking Liam Neeson movie 24 hours a day.
And I know it's ridiculous, almost self centered, to think that I could be on so many people's minds to endanger. But it's something that I know I will never change.
When she's born, my job will be to protect her from this terrifying, incredibly disgusting world.
Yet, I'm not sure how to do that.
As any parent would tell me, I guess I'll just do the best I can and hope that will get her through the tough times.
This morning I got in my car, buckled my seat belt like always, and drove like a 90 year old on a Sunday stroll. But, what if someone else runs that next red light...
It just never ends.