Sweet baby, where are you?
I need to tell you something.
All three of us are ok but I wrecked the car trying not to hit a fox.
We are totally fine and safe.
A man stopped to help. No one else was involved. I was not speeding or texting.
I don’t need you to do anything. I just wanted you to know.
These text messages are how I told my wife about the accident. We were still sitting in the car halfway down a very steep hill, waiting for help to arrive. I needed her to know. And it wasn’t for her, I needed her to know for me. I needed my rock. Although she’s 900 miles away, I knew I couldn’t be who I needed to be–mother to the children I just drove off a cliff, patient to the medics, and driver to the police officer–without having her to lean on.
The emergency crews arrived and surfed down the crunchy hillside to the car. The firefighter that came to my door had the most gentle and understanding eyes. I poured my uncertainty into them, hoping he could read between the words I was so carefully choosing to forever imprint on the minds of my children. As I write this, I’m struck by how much of a mother I became in the seconds, minutes, and hours after the fox stepped onto the road.