Part of my job is that I work within the Center for Response and Security Lessons Learned. We do research on issues that can be gleaned from all kinds of incidents such as terrorist attacks or hurricanes. In our house this morning we all learned a bunch of lessons.
E got in a minor car accident just outside of our neighborhood. She's fine, the other driver is fine. Not too much damage on either car. She admitted it was totally her fault. She was tired and wasn't paying attention. Lots of tears and embarrassment that she made a mistake.
Here's what we learned:
1. Hopefully E is going to learn that she has to be more careful. We are not setting these boundaries and rules with her driving to be jerks or to assert our power. It is for her safety. She also has to realize that sleep is extremely important and if she's going to continue her swim schedule and drive, she HAS to get enough sleep without exception.
2. We're also hoping that E realized that she's not perfect. She makes mistakes just like everyone else and if she does make a mistake the wheels aren't going to come off the bus. There will be consequences, but we still love her and aren't going anywhere.
3. K and I handled the situation pretty well (patting ourselves on our backs). I got the rest of the kids up after her phone call and he went to go find her (it was literally outside the entrance to our neighborhood). He'll do a cost benefit analysis to figure out whether we'll claim it with our insurance or pay out of pocket. Our insurance has already ballooned with her on our policy and this could make it even higher. Thank goodness the woman didn't call the cops or she could have gotten a citation and lost her license (she's still in the probationary period).
4. The other kids saw us deal with the situation calmly and without anger. We need them to know that they'll make mistakes in their lives and we'll always be there to help them.
With the holiday looming tomorrow, we are obviously thankful that E and the other driver are okay and that it wasn't more serious. We've learned a lot about life perspective in the last 3 years. While I honestly wish that this had never happened and we wouldn't have to deal with the mess of getting both cars fixed, etc., I'm glad that we all learned these lessons. Especially E. In the long run, I think we'll all be the better for it as individuals and as a family.