Emergencies: more fun in cartoons

Ever found yourself the centre of attention and wondered how you got there? On Friday, I had the surreal experience of being the (uninvited) guest of not one, not two, not three, but four of our stupendous emergency services teams. The most flashing lights I’ve seen since my last Blue Light Disco in 1986 – and enough to last me the rest of my life, thank you very much.

My out-of-body experience began with a bang – literally – when a simple trip to take Mr3 to gymnastics ended suddenly about one block from home. On my own street. Another driver failed to give way at the Give Way and drove into the side of the Camry. The world’s most boring car now has serious personality, courtesy of a custom body rework.

People say that when you are in a car accident time slows down. I didn’t find this to be the case. Instead, I felt like I did when I was 15 and got on to the Cha Cha at the local show – horribly out of control and wondering when it was going to end. My life didn’t flash before my eyes. Possibly because I was too busy screaming and swearing to take any notice. I felt the car hit the gutter, heard Mr3 cry out in alarm, found myself facing back the way I’d come, hands gripping the steering wheel (like that was going to help).

Then it was silent. I calmly reached forward to turn off the engine, reached backward to grip Mr3’s little striped gumboot, and breathed in and out to make sure I still could. I’d bumped my head, my neck was aching, I was crying without emotion and shaking all over.

“Are you all right, Mummy?” came a small voice from the back.

Deep breath. Stay calm. If you are calm, he will be calm. Funny how your thoughts work.

“I’m okay, sweetie. Are you okay?” I found it difficult to twist around to see him, but needed to see him. He was all tucked up in his Australian Safety Standard car seat, unruffled and bemused. Thank God for those car seats, is all I have to say. Car seats and seatbelts.

“I’m all right, Mummy,” he said. “That was a big bang, wasn’t it?”

What could I do but laugh?

The next hour was full of flashing lights. The lovely people who came to our aid in the first place were unable to open my car door. When they rang Triple O, they reported this fact. Hence the incredible response we got. Our quiet little street became a sea of flashing lights and concerned faces.

The police were there. The fire department rolled in. The emergency rescue crew arrived with their jaws of life. The ambulance turned up. Even the tow truck had orange flashing lights. It was little boy heaven and Mr3 was thrilled when a kind policeman took him on a tour of all the vehicles while he waited for his mummy to be broken free of the car.

I went to hospital in a neck collar. A precaution. I spent a few hours there in the neck collar. Very uncomfortable. They cut my favourite jacket up so they could xray me whilst wearing the neck collar. Very disappointing.

But I’m fine. Sore and sorry, but fine. I knew I was fine. When a nice lady came out of her house to keep me company while we awaited the emergency services, I said “Hello, nice to meet you.” If you still have manners, you can’t imagine there can be too much wrong.

I have ‘what if?’ moments. What if I’d been going faster? What if he’d been going faster? What if something had happened to my precious little boy? But I push those way down.

As my mum says, it is what it is.