Last weekend Mark and Joel went on a father/son outing. They took the Dodge Ram 70 miles down I-44 to Cuba, MO to a place called Cowtown USA to pick up a camping trailer that I think we’ll probably never use, but Mark thinks we’ll use ten times per year, which is kind of a disparity… (Joel sat on some riding lawnmowers and boats, and then they ate some barbeque food as well.) I just can’t even with this description. I swear next thing I know it we’ll be raising goats, or hogs, in our backyard. I’ll be like my work friend who has a goat named Pinesol.
So I did not want Mark and Joel to go. I am all for father/son outings but not if they involve leaving the house. I just had this feeling that (you guessed it) something horrible would happen. When Mark and Joel said goodbye that morning, I was thinking, “This might be the last time I ever see them. What if I have to raise Fredrik alone?” I have these thoughts multiple times per day. Newsflash – it is fun to be me.
But, despite my worries, I allowed them to go, because every day I resist temptations to strip my living kids of a normal(ish) upbringing.
So they left around 9:30am, and Mark was great about updating me. He texted me to say that they’d arrived safely, and then he sent me riding lawnmower pics, and then he sent me barbeque pics, and, in the meantime, my parents arrived for a visit, so this distracted me a bit, and I decided at some point, “Their trip is going well – what was I ever worried about?!”
So my parents and I were having great conversation in the living room, mostly speculating on whether my dad would get food poisoning after eating a huge piece of meat that I initially told him was one week and one day old but later discovered (after calling Mark) was about 17 days old, when I realized, “It has been a while since I talked to Mark about that beef – shouldn’t he be home by now?”
And not even five minutes later my phone rang, and it was Mark, and I picked up, and was like, “Where ARE you?!”
And Mark was like, “I want to let you know, we’re okay, but something very scary happened.”
So my mom kind of freaked out, but I, mysteriously (and impressively), remained calm, because Mark had just said, “We’re okay.” (And also, I remained calm because Mark began describing the situation, and it involved a trailer, and I’m not well versed in trailer-speak, and thus couldn’t immediately process the potential implications of what had just transpired.)
So basically, what happened, was that Mark was driving down the interstate and happened to peer into his rearview mirror and notice the trailer NOT riding so smoothly (bouncing around?) behind him at 70-80 miles per hour. So I guess he immediately (and correctly) suspected that the hitch pin had fallen out (through no fault of Mark’s) and that the trailer was being pulled solely by its safety chains, which is never an ideal situation, apparently. And I guess the trailer was also kind of slamming into the back of his truck, since his bumper suffered some damage.
So Mark bailed into the grassy median as quickly as possible (because I guess the shoulder was only three feet wide before dropping off several feet, and I guess continuing on with the trailer in this condition was not a good option), unhooked the trailer, and continued to the next exit, which, luckily, wasn’t too far away and included an O’Reilly Auto Parts store.
At O’Reilly, he purchased the parts he needed, and then he got back onto the highway and then had to travel back into the median to hook the trailer back up to prepare for the journey home.
So all of this initially sounded pretty innocent, but then I realized that Mark sounded shaken up, and he isn’t easily shaken up, so it must have actually been very scary, and I guess Joel was shaken up too (which breaks my heart), because he is relatively sensitive to others’ emotions and could sense Mark’s stress.
And then, later, after Mark arrived home and we continued to discuss the events of the day, it officially dawned on me – this was really, truly terrifying. Mark could have lost control of his vehicle. My husband and my child spent part of the day in the median of a busy interstate. (It also did wonders for my sanity when Mark told me, “I talked to Kathryn (his sister), and she said she knows someone whose horse trailer snapped off their truck and killed an entire family.”)
“Trailers should be banned,” I declared.
I’m just finding it unbelievable that I was worried for Mark’s father/son outing with Joel, and then, something happened that could have been potentially awful. Granted, it wasn’t awful, but the trip wasn’t exactly uneventful either. I’m now worried that every time I have a horrible premonition, it might come true. I mean, sometimes I wonder whether Matthew died because I had feared (based on nothing logical) that he would. Of course I’ve feared many things that have never (thankfully) happened, but stuff like this screws with my mind so bad.
I’m (obviously) so thankful that they’re okay. I’m also thankful that I was spared of some of the in-the-moment stress of these scary events. I know this is selfish, but I wouldn’t have handled this well. I absolutely would have been standing in the highway median in tears, screaming eff bombs at the top of my lungs, shouting derogatory insults at Mark about his love for camping and vacationing as I dialed 911. This is just the way in which I generally operate when faced with adversity.