April Fools Car Accident
April first I received a phone call from my son Elijah. That's him in the photo to the right. I heard him say that he and my cousin/son had been in an accident. For a split second, because of the date, I thought that Quentin, my cousin/son, had somehow talked Elijah into pull a prank on me, but that couldn't be. Elijah is Autistic and knows that a joke like that would hurt me, and so he would never pull a prank like that. Plus I could hear his voice that something was seriously wrong.
It's truly amazing how many thoughts and emotions can fly through your mind in an instant. That is when I heard the voice of another man I didn't recognize. I listened to this man cuss at my children continuously yelling at them about how this was their fault, and how they were going to have to pay for this. Never once asking if they were ok.
While I grabbed my keys and rushed to get to my children. I kept telling Elijah not to talk to the man, and stay on the phone with me. I could sense that he was nervous and didn't know how to handle this man. That is when a woman's voice came on the line.
"Dana, I'm here. Elijah is fine, are you on your way?" The voice talking to me didn't register with me at first, but it was my sister. She just happened to be driving home from work, when she saw the wreck, and Elijah standing on the side of the road.
It would be hard not to notice him, he is 6' 5" tall, and 300 pounds of a gentle giant. I could hear the man still yelling at the boys, and my sister telling him to go away. I arrived not long after I talked to her. The fire department was already there, the EMT's were getting back into their rig when I stopped them and asked if they had evaluated the boy. They said the "the big one refused service."
My jaw dropped, and before my brain could register a thought, I asked, did you ask him how old he is? I could see the confusion on their faces, so I explained to them. He is minor, and he is Autistic. Without hesitation, they got back out and walked with me to Elijah. I introduced Elijah to the EMT and explained that they needed to check his wounds to make sure he didn't need a ride to the hospital. They looked him over and said that even though he is so big, and was in a small car, the only injury they could see on him was a burn on his neck from the airbag.
While the EMTs were looking at Elijah, the other driver came to talk to me. He asked my sister who she was, and who i was. I turned to look at him and saw that he was wearing a badge that Identified him as a teacher. So I asked him if he was a teacher.
"Yes, I teach 6th-grade math." I looked at him, and at my sister who could see in my eyes what I was thinking. "Stay calm Sister, Elijah is fine, and the police are here." (chuckling to myself) My sister knows me well and knows that my children are my everything. So I looked at the man, and told him, that giant boy over there, is a minor, who has Autism. Oh, I wish I had taken a picture of the pure shock on his face. And magically he went from cursing and hopping around like an angry leprechaun to, oh your boys are so polite, and he's handling all of this very well.
I turned and looked at him. "Yes, they are. They are handling this situation much better than the grown man standing in front of me."
After that, the police officer came over and asked if the car was able to be driven so that we could get it off the main road. We parked on a side, a side street and the police officer came to talk to Elijah. I explained to the officer that Elijah is Autistic, introduced them to each other, and told Elijah that the officer was a good man and that he could trust him. After talking to Elijah for a few moments, the officer said the angry leprechaun it would be best if he stayed away from the boys and didn't continue talking to me. I am sure that the officer could tell what I was thinking.
Needless to say, we made our way to the hospital, and both boys checked out fine. Elijah had a burn from the airbag, and Quentin other than having a panic attack at the thought of having to pay for a wreck was unharmed as well. I keep asking the boys what they learned from this situation. Quentin says he learned not to be overly confident, and to remain calm in stressful situations. Elijah has come to the conclusion that he might not want to drive for a long time. He doesn't trust the other drivers, and airbags hurt when they explode in your face. But it wasn't what my own children learned, but what the teacher, whose job is to educate children might have learned.
An accident is called that because no one set out to harm another person on purpose, and when you jump out of your car cussing and screaming, acting like a jackass, you miss important details. Like is the other person, OK? This was the first time either of my boys had been in a wreck, and unfortunately, the other driver showed them the ugly side of reality.