Monday, November 12, 2007

Snow. Tires. Responsibility.

We had the chance to get away from the city this last weekend, and I was more than ready for it - It was October - a month of weekend plans and halloween parties and business that kept us in the city with it's own promise and delight, but this weekend away was surely needed. We left the city in a very light rain, the roads a little wet, and I drove with my usual caution, hoping to carry both Beautiful Wife and Dear Alex safely and surely to The Undisclosed Location. As we left the city up the FDR all seemed okay until I hit some spots of undrained water on the road - the car hopped a bit and slid side to side, so subtley that I think only I (with my hands on the wheel) felt it. Ahhh, hydroplaning, a little slower worked better. I'd felt a little oddness in the handling of the car before, but put it down to something else (an undiagnosed noise and un-fixed squeaking from the front end) and chose to ignore it. I forgot the most basic instinct that I've learned from years of motorcycles and flying - If it feels wrong, it probably is. If there is a problem it won't go away by itself, and the best thing to do is fix it now, before it hurts you. I write this to 'out myself' and remind myself to never take what seems like a little thing for granted. Don't ignore your instincts. It was all okay in the end, but getting to Dear Alex's house in the country had me so tense and 'clenched' that I ached the next day. Under other circumstances, it would have been a great drive - the girl, true to form, did not fall asleep, and felt compelled to comment on all that passed, drop things from her car seat, and whine for them, all while I'm hanging on for dear life - The drive was maddening, but eventually magical as the rain turned to snow - and Dear Alex calmed down, probably as mesmerized as I was by the large snowflakes streaming hypnotically past the windshield. We made it home without incident, and I had the gratifying moment of silence as we shut off the car and the snow fell silently in the headlights. Beautiful Wife took the girl upstairs and to bed, and all was right with the world. On Saturday morning, Dear Alex had a great time looking at, commenting on, and walking in the freshly fallen snow before we left to get a set of new tires for the car. We spent Saturday morning (I took the girl to give BW a break) at a 'Tire Center', and Dear Alex had a great time seeing the car up in the air without it's wheels and walking daddy endlessly around the parking lot and splashing in puddles. It made a world of difference - nothing wrong with the car - just needed tires, all around. This is not really a lilscreamie post, but more of a reminder to myself to not ignore the gut, especially when there's others involved. I've come a long way from when I could just get on a motorcycle, make it work, and get away without a care. It's an odd and humbling feeling, being ultimately responsible for a new person's life.

No comments: