The honest husband of mine filled me in on the details of their joyride, and I am a bit surprised I didn't fly off the handle.
There is a tiny part of me that is relieved this all happened on the husband's watch. I know, that sounds terrible, but don't worry, I'm not gloating. I am, quite frankly, fighting the urge to fall into an incontrollable fit of laughter. It's one of my body's responses to severely stressful scenarios out of my control (like earthquakes and such).
I am also resisting the urge to torture myself with every possible scenario that could have resulted from the shortlived adventure. Admittedly, I am also forcing myself to resist my tendency to self-blame. "If I had been here, that never would have happened. If I didn't encourage them to be so free spirited and curious all the time, they'd be more careful and cautious." I can punish myself for days on end if I allow myself to slip into old habits.
Instead, I'm taking this as an opportunity to show the husband some gentle compassion for the things that are out of our control. Accidents happen. Yes, there are measures and precautions that could have prevented this, and yes, I understand we were lucky this time. The outcome could have been catastrophic . . . but it wasn't.
Aside from some minor damage to the truck, the girls came away unscathed. No doubt they had quite a scare, and I'm sure my soon-to-be 8 year old will be less thrilled by the idea of taking her sisters for a joyride in daddy's truck (or any "real" car for that matter).
Tonight, instead of channeling my residual fear into anger, I'll choose love --even if it sounds cornier than corn. Instead of projecting that fear into aggression, I will redirect and reside in that place of appreciation, honoring all three of my girls as the miracles they are. Instead of torturing myself with a reel of crazy outcomes that could have been and imagining the intense panic and fear they must have felt, I'll stare at them in their sleep (like a weirdo) in awe of who they are in this moment. I'll breathe and let it go, granting myself the freedom to chuckle at the story this will evolve into, and I'll imagine us years from now, being those embarassing parents teasing her about her first "fender bender."