Monday, April 7, 2014

Some of life is frightening

I'm scared, I admit it.

My youngest son is starting a job on Swan Island in Portland tomorrow and he doesn't drive.
Logan and best friend Tom in bamboo
He bikes. I've already lost a child on a bike. And while I got away with thinking that it won't happen to me - to us - before it DID happen, I can't indulge in that luxury anymore. Now it's like I'm waiting for when it will happen AGAIN.

Because I can't trust anymore. My blinders are off. I see all the speeding, talking/texting, swerving, unsafe lane-changing, red light and stop sign running, lack of signaling, following too closely, cutting through parking lots, etc., that people do. All people: in cars, on bikes, walking. It's like every single person out there is thinking of just one person: him or her self and their convenience. I'm even guilty of it still myself sometimes, try as I do to be different.

Dustin, Logan and Colin 1992
Now my littlest boy is going to be doing more than just riding to the store or riding to school a mile or two here and there, now and then. He's going to be commuting at least 10 miles each way and coming home after dark. Through North Portland! Through tunnels, on roads with no bike lanes and with pot holes, and with cars that travel above the speed limit when even the speed limit is too high, IMHO.

Jenna and Logan October 2011
I went to the Bike Gallery today. I want to help prevent a second son from getting killed on his bike, I told the young man assisting me. (Yeah, I actually said that, with tears in my eyes and my voice shaking). What are the best front lights? Rear lights? What reflective gear? What tires to prevent flats? What horn or bell? What about mirrors; on the handle bars or on the helmet? What am I not thinking of? It was a not inexpensive hour.

Fortunately, Logan was not with me during my tearful visit to the store. I'm sure he would have felt mortified. (But hopefully touched on the inside). I know that he feels I am overly protective. Besides, what can I really do? His brother had lights, a mirror, a bell.

I feel entitled to being scared and protective, tearful and reactive. I can feel the tears behind my eyes and the tingle in my nose that signals they are near even now. If something happens to another one of my children I don't think I'll be able to survive it. At least not sanely.

I don't understand how I've survived the first one. The ONLY one. The ONLY ONE. THE ONLY ONE. (Breathe. Everything will be okay. Everything. will. be. okay).