The Writing Mamas Daily Blog

Each day on the Writing Mamas Daily Blog, a different member will write about mothering.

If you're a mom then you've said these words, you've made these observations and you've lived these situations - 24/7.

And for that, you are a goddess.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007



We live on a hill and to get to it you have to go up a beautiful street lined with Mediterranean style houses. While the houses are expansive, the street is not. It’s narrow with cars on either side.

Tragedy! Mimi, my 5-year old daughter, had fallen asleep. Not at 8 p.m. on a Sunday. That meant she would never go to bed at 9 p.m.

I turned to the right to shake her awake. As I did, the steering wheel must have turned to the left. BOOM!!!

I had side swept a car. It was an older, beat-up looking vehicle. Thankfully, I had avoided the new Saab behind it.

Mimi kept on sleeping – and I let her. I rang the doorbell of the house. Nobody answered. I left a note of apology, along with my telephone number and e-mail.

About five days later I got a call from a giggly man. He’s either going to be very nice, I thought, or very not.

He thanked me for my honesty. I explained the irony of my daughter sleeping through the accident, yet still was able to go to bed at 9 – but I couldn’t sleep all night.

He said his car was 12 years old and not in the best shape, but he would go to a body shop for an estimate. A body shop? The car already looked like it needed plastic surgery and I had swept the side with the major damage being a bent mirror and a tire rim.

He called a few days later. “Yep, you wouldn’t believe the estimate.”

Yep. He was right. I didn’t. $2,053. I figured $350 tops, which we’d pay just to get rid of him. “It's an old car so your insurance company would probably just write it off. I’d settle with you, though.”

Of that -- I’m positive, I thought. “How much?” I asked evenly.

“I’d take half, a $1,000 bucks.”

I played it totally female and said I would have to talk this over with my husband. He, of course, understood. Then I got on the Internet and found a mirror for his car for -- $15. A rim for $29.99. And I Kelly Blue Booked it at $1,500 max.

I talked it over with my husband, John, and I said I couldn’t deal with the man because he was pretending to be so nice when he was obviously not. I asked John to talk to him mano a mano. I’m afraid if I talked to him it would be mano a New Yorko, and I would just scream.

The guy’s final offer, $700. We had our insurance settle with him.

Meanwhile, there is what looks like a bite out of my wheel bumper and some dents in my car. John asked if I wanted to fix them. I thought about it. After all, this is Marin, and you ARE what you drive. But then I thought more deeply. I decided against getting them fixed.

The damage could have been far worse. I could have hurt someone. Every time I look at my car I see that. I really don’t care if others see the scrapes. I just hope they see them the way I do now: when driving, especially with children, an accident can easily happen. And paying acute attention, despite numerous child-centric distractions, is the only way to drive.

By Dawn Yun

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