Monday, May 16, 2011

Watch Your Space

The only lecture my father ever gave me when I was growing up was: Watch Your Space. It was all encompassing and I was allowed some wiggle room within the boundaries of the meaning. It's amazing to reflect on how relevant that lecture was, and still is.
When I was small, watching my space meant not talking to creepy strangers and watching my step while I ran around the playground. In high school, it meant not letting myself get into a situation where I would be peer pressured into doing something stupid. And it was relevant when I started to drive, and helped me become a vigilant driver who anticipates the moves of others. When I was in college, watching my space meant not getting drunk and going home with a random guy from the bar or watching out for pick-pockets when I traveled abroad. As I get older, my father still gives me this lecture. Typically, it's whenever I am traveling, although I'm sure he means it to be an every day thought. Quite frankly, it is. After hearing it, and only it, for years and years, it's starting to sink in. Although, apparently, not quite as deeply as it should.
One recent night, I got home from work and waited around for my husband to follow. He was running late and that pushed dinner back, which pushed back my available time to get to my 7pm appointment. After a quick dinner, I changed my clothes, threw my purse together, kissed my hubby, and raced out the back door. I hopped into the front seat of my SUV, dug around in my center console to plug in my Ipod, and put the car in reverse. It wasn't until I heard the CRUNCH that I realized... our convertible was in the driveway right behind our SUV. It was very, very clear that I had not heeded my father's advice. Had I been watching my space, I would've never missed that.
My heart sank. My husband loves that car more than practically anything. So when I had to yell out his name for him to rush to the backyard, I wasn't sure what I was in for. Turns out, I'm his "baby" more so than the car. He was really good at not getting mad. There was no damage to the SUV, but his hood was pushed back and dented under, plus the grill was damaged and the special-ordered license plate on his car was busted. After a stop at the collision repair, we found out it would be costing over $2500 to repair... we needed an entire new hood. All I could say was thank God for insurance!
It was a lesson learned the hard way. When your parents give you good advice, it's because they've been around the block a time or two and have figured out what's coming. I will eventually preach to my own children to watch their space. I just hope we don't have any more driveway accidents in our future that drive home this point.

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