I am driving my two elves to work. I have to go to Oakland from the safe bosom that is Marin, and I am taking my two elves -- Daughter and Youngest -- with me. Pete and Eldest are off skiing for the day, relishing in the snow. That leaves me with my elves, the two kids who have been happily stuffing $10 Target gift cards with thank you letters into envelopes. The work has mostly been done at home, but since I have to go into work, they are rising to the task to do it on site rather than at home. Besides, I can't very well leave them at home alone.
I am struck by how much they trust that I will get them there safely. They pay no attention to what is happening around them as I navigate through the highways of Marin to the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge to the Richmond Parkway on my way to Berkeley and then Oakland.
Youngest listens to the mp3 player. Daughter and I alternate between songs on the radio she likes and songs on the radio I like.
"They just entrust me to get them where we're going safely," I think.
Moments after that thought, a full-size pick-up truck in Lane 2 decides to enter Lane 1 whilst both of us are going 71, 72, 73 miles per hour. I am in Lane 1, parallel to the pick-up truck. Unseen.
Thankfully, there is a tiny shoulder I can move to whilst I lay on the horn and pray to God that what I've done is enough to stop this certain crash, this certain death, this certain elimination of Daughter, who is sitting in the front seat.
It is enough.
The driver of the pick-up truck sees me, hears my horn, heeds my prayers.
And waves forgiveness.
Heart pounding, I tell God I am grateful that, at least for now, we will all enter 2011 in one piece.