Night of Broken Glass


Nine and a half years ago, September 20 was my projected due date for my second child.

Nine years after that estimation was wrong, it became a day for celebrating life.

Yeah, that’s melodramatic, but let me explain.

I was driving me and the Girl Band up a road. Not just any road, but one I take almost daily. It’s one of my main arteries. And it’s a road I love, for its big trees and shady street. It’s like being in the woods. Even the Borough bears the word woods in its name.

I still love the road. What happened wasn’t the road’s fault. It was one of those things that happens when you’re in the woods.

Now, mind you, it was only 8PM when it all happened. It was just about dark. But even if it hadn’t been, I doubt I would have seen the tree branch until it made contact with my windshield.

Thank God the windshield held.

The tree branch? The cop, after he finished his report, walked me back to visit it. It wasn’t that little log I’d seen in my rear-view mirror and wanted to take home as a souvenir. It was over five feet long (an easy estimation for me to make, since I’m five feet long. Err, tall. Or is that short?), and it had shattered into about 30 pieces. One had hit my hood and my side-view mirror. One had bounced up and hit my roof … I measured it. It’s the width of my hand behind the moon roof.

So. One impact on the windshield, about a foot from the moon roof. And another impact maybe four inches behind it.
You know where this is going. You know it was a gorgeous almost-autumn night, that I’d been in the local park with The Girl Band, so my lungs were all full of the amazing air I can’t get enough of this time of year.

Which means, of course, my moon roof was open.

Open, as in retracted into the back panel of the roof. As in: no glass to protect us from any tree branches that decided a gorgeous almost-autumn night was the perfect time to break free and see what adventures it could find.

As in: we were damn lucky, me and the Girl Band.

Thankfully, the windshield held. I know I said that, but it didn’t just hold after the impact. Nope. It held long enough for me to pick up the Boy Band, to show off the damage to all the Boy Scouts — who, of course, thought it was the coolest thing ever and can I poke the impact spot and make the glass completely shatter? — and then to make it home again. Safe, if not totally sound.

I’m mourning the damage to my beloved sports sedan. But damn if it didn’t save our lives tonight (with a little help from fates or higher powers or whatever it is you believe in). This is the reason I drive that car. Okay, one of the reasons. It goes vroom. It’s nimble. It has an eight-way adjustable seat. And it was the Car and Driver car of the year… the model year before and after mine. Did I mention it’s barely given me a minute’s worth of trouble in all the years I’ve owned it? Did I mention how utterly I adore this car?

Now, for the irony. You see, I had made an appointment for early last week to take the car in for a routine tire rotation and oil change. I had made a note to tell my new mechanic (love him, too) that there seems to be an issue with my driver’s side rear brake light. But I’d changed that appointment, to make it easier for the friend who’s going to drive me to and from the mechanic (only because I’m too wimpy to ride my bike. It’s totally that close).

Yep. The car goes in tomorrow.

I’m sure the insurance company will send the glass guy out to give me a new windshield — it’s not going to hold for much longer. Thankfully (I’m using that word a lot tonight, no?), the mechanic is close, as I said. Bike-ride close. The insurance company, who I adore and have been with my entire driving life, will send an adjuster wherever I tell them to. They’ll make it easy.

So forgive me if I spend a few days hugging the kids, especially the Girl Band. We dodged one tonight. You’d better believe I’m giving thanks for that. The outcome of this little escapade could have been a lot, lot worse.


This Boy Scout still loves the woods. Even if, every now and then, it bites.



  1. Thomma Lyn

    September 21, 2011 4:22 pm

    Yes, thankful is a good word — I’m so thankful you are all okay! What a night. And wow, those pictures… *whew!!*

  2. susan

    September 21, 2011 6:08 pm

    The pictures don’t do it justice… I’ll post an update in a day or two. It’s been quite the adventure — but this time, a good one!

  3. Calliope

    September 21, 2011 6:31 pm

    Egad! So glad y’all (and the car, come to it) are alive.

    Oh! And I’m 5 feet tall, too.

  4. Melissa Luznicky Garrett

    September 22, 2011 9:18 am

    Wow! Seriously scary. This post gave me the chills.

  5. Alice Audrey

    September 23, 2011 3:50 pm

    Whoah! Scarry! I’m so glad everyone came out all right.

  6. carol

    September 27, 2011 1:55 pm

    Wow, how scary. I’m glad you’re all okay.

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