Some Day My Toddler Will Be a Teenager

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011 • 2 Comments

The picture below is cute and innocent, but it’s a reminder that someday my baby (babies!) will be old enough to drive. Scary thought. Normally, I’m not of the “I don’t want him to grow up!” mentality. I love watching Patrick learn new things and discover the world around him. My little baby is about to become a big brother and that (mostly) delights me. He’s still my little baby, always will be. But someday, sooner than I would like, I’m going to have to send him out in the world and trust he will be safe—and trust that I have taught him to do the right thing and look out for himself. It’s not something I’m looking forward to.

One of the girls at my regular Starbucks was in a car accident over the weekend. She wasn’t wearing her seatbelt when the car hit a guardrail. She’s okay, relatively speaking. Her poor face is a mishmash of cuts and abrasions and stitches and bruises and swelling, but she’s alive and will likely have little more than a faint scar or two to remind her of the experience. But oh, I couldn’t help but look at her pretty face and think how much worse it could have been. She could’ve lost an eye, or broken delicate bones in her face. Or died.

I was in a similar car accident when I was 19. It was before there was even a seatbelt law (Florida was one of the last holdouts) and I had a Camaro. Those two facts were a disaster waiting to happen.  But for whatever reason, on the fateful day my tires spun out on wet road and my car crashed into a wall, I was wearing my seatbelt. I still managed to crack the windshield with my head, but I walked away from the accident with nothing more than a goose egg on my forehead and a nasty bruise from the seatbelt. I was lucky. Just like the girl at Starbucks. But I was 19 then and thought I was invincible (or didn’t much care that I wasn’t). I’m older now and know my own mortality—and that of those I love.

Someday, I will hand Patrick (and his brother) the keys to a car and watch the slow grin spread over his face at the realization of his freedom. I will remind him to be careful, to obey the speed limit, to remember everything he’s been taught—and to wear his seatbelt no matter what.  And I will hope he listens. I will hope he is smarter than I was at 19, smarter than the sweet 21 girl at Starbucks, smarter than every other teenager who ever drove a car. It’s a naive hope, I know, but it’s the only thing I can do. Hope.

Wear your seatbelt. Always. And remind your friends and your kids and your kids’ friends to do the same.

Posted by Kristina in Life
 

Baby Wants to Drive

Thursday, July 28th, 2011 • 1 Comment

They grow up so fast.

image

Posted by Kristina in Cuteness
 

Running Away at the Grip

Friday, July 22nd, 2011 • No Comments

Have you ever daydreamed about running away? Have you ever actually followed through?  I wrote about my latest running away fantasy over at Oh Get A Grip! this week:

The text message made my heart race. No, not in that way. In a different way—a way that stirred the wanderlust in me.

“There is a two year tour to London that starts in February 2013…”

Oh!

The text was from my husband, a naval officer. The tour would have us packing up and moving to London for two years. The logistics are a bit mind boggling at the moment, but the opportunity to live in London for two years seems worth it. Almost?

I have have had a love affair with London since 2003, but I’ve been in love with England since I was a little girl. The monarchy, the pageantry, the history… England was where a woman could be a powerful leader—and a princess in a castle. At least, that’s the way my young imagination interpreted it.

I read about Henry VIII and his wives—I memorized their names and their stories. I got up early to watch Princess Diana get married and I watched her funeral with tears in my eyes. I didn’t get up early to watch Prince William’s nuptials, but I recorded it. When I was a teenager, a British accent would make me swoon. Not much has changed.

I’m not good at running away—not in any real sense. I may have fantasized about running away when I was a kid, but I never attempted it. The price to be paid when I was dragged home was simply not worth the risk. I dreamed of running away to Europe, to travel the world, to study abroad, to be a photo journalist… but as deep as the wanderlust runs, there is also a need for comfort and consistency and a sense of place and identity.

Read the rest of the story and tell me about your experience with running away. And check in at the Grip tomorrow when the brilliant and beautiful Alana Noël Voth will be guest blogging.

Posted by Kristina in Writing
 

Writer Chick. Mother Hen.

Author, anthologist, mother, wife, dreamer, storyteller, coffee drinker. I blog here sporadically, when I'm not writing, editing anthologies for Cleis Press or messing around on Facebook. Welcome! Want to know more?

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