A small event that seemed big at the time. And vice versa.

Small event first:

Yesterday, I was in a car accident.  I say “small” event because, even though my car may well be totaled and I’ll have to miss a little work while I recover, both I and Baby are just fine.

So, repeat — JUST FINE!  Heh.

I was coming home from dropping P off at a meeting near the University last night and came to a somewhat bizarre intersection.  Suffice it to say, the traffic you would not expect to stop has stop signs, and the traffic you would expect to stop, on the side street, does not.  Every local resident knows this intersection well.

The guy who hit me wasn’t a local.

I approached the intersection from the side street and cruised right on through, making a left turn.  I didn’t even *see* the other guy until he was inches from me.  Then my brain did that weird, ultra-slow, frame-by-frame thing as he collided with my left front wheel.  Happily for me (so happily I just…don’t really want to think about the alternative), the roads intersect at a 110-degree angle, so I wasn’t hit dead-on.

I heard the sound of crunching metal and shattering glass and saw things fly across to the far side of the car.  Then there was an utterly silent pause as I tried to remember how to breathe.  …and then my radio came back on.

No broken glass in my car; the things I’d seen flying past my field of vision were ice cubes from my drink.  No airbags deployed, no blood.  My door was bent in and I was helped out of the passenger side by a kindly bystander, who called out over my head to someone behind me, “Dude!  She’s pregnant!”  I then heard a stream of, “Oh jeez, oh jeez, I’m so sorry, oh jeez…”   When the world came into focus again and I finally looked around me, I saw a very young, apologetic undergrad in a sports-jacket a few sizes too big, standing among the wreckage and looking downright stricken.  He all but wrung his hands.

A score of people stopped to ask if we were okay, the cops came and took our info, and our cars were hauled off by a tow truck.  All the while I gently but distractedly fended off the kid’s apologies — “Yes, I’m okay.  I’m sure you *are* sorry; I know.  It’s a weird intersection” — but could only think to myself, “Come on — kick, baby.  KICK.”

Baby was very quiet for about half an hour, then gave a tentative and bewildered, *…..kick?*

Ahhhhhh.

And life went back to normal!  I mean, mostly.  I’ve got a shiny black rental SUV for the next week or so, my insurance agent was helpful and prompt, my gynecologist and my internist both gave me the thumbs-up sign, and Phillip is doing the cooking tonight.  Just a stiff neck and some sore muscles, which a soak in my bubble tub will do wonders for.

…and the seemingly small but really momentous event?   This afternoon, I took advantage of my day off work to head down to the Social Security office and changed my name.  No fanfare, not even any bureaucratic hoops to jump through — just a few strokes on someone’s keyboard, and I’m suddenly someone completely different.

I am now officially Mrs. J. C. M.

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