When tail lights started lighting up in front of my car and traffic came to a stand still, I got annoyed.  “STOP GAWKING, and GET MOVING!”  I said, to no one. It  had been one of those- “re-entry”  days.  You know, when you’re catapulted from the fun of vacation back into the orbit of your life and things get heated up, FAST.  Friction + speed (always) = HEAT.  My heat just happened to be in the form of attitude.

My husband had left for a quick business trip- and before he had landed at his destination, we’d already blown a fuse (of course the one with the freezer and camper- which I was TRYING to clean out at the time..) and had several games of  “How many neighbor kids can my kid bring in the house” claiming “rain” because someone had spit into the wind.

When traffic had slowed to a stand still then crawl, I had escaped the heat and the kids by declaring an emergency trip to the grocery store. (A mom’s way of spitting into the wind and claiming rain, I suppose…)

I saw the empty infant  car seat on the embankment, first. ( Funny how that caught my eye before the police cars and ambulance lights, did.  I am a hard core mom. ) My heart skipped a beat.  Then I noticed a mom holding the tiny one in her arms, with a preschooler sitting along side her, wrapped in blanket to ward off the drizzle that had started to fall.  A toddler held onto the leg of her shorts, somehow, knowing that now wasn’t a time to wander.  Their crushed minivan had become a modern art installment, in the foreground of the scene.

(more…)