That Moment

I was sitting, starring at the computer screen marking off things on my mental list that I needed to get done today when my mind wandered to that often thought thought. You know that thought, the memory of that thing you did when you were a kid where you did that thing and afterwards you felt bad or scared. The first time you felt remorse and shocked at what you did. So much so that even 10, 20, 40 years later the feeling of that moment is still as bright as it was that day.

Those moments shaped our lives forever. Maybe it left you with some irrational fear or a feeling of obligation to fulfill your promises.

One of those moments for me, the one that popped into my head, was when I was sitting in the front seat of the car, a new experience for me. My dad had turned on the car while it was in the garage and ran back inside to grab his wallet. My brother was buckled up in the back seat. I decided to put the car into gear.

I had seen my father do it a hundred times but I never knew he had his foot on the brake when he did it. I grabbed the shifter and put it to R and we started rolling out of the garage. At the same time my dad comes back into the garage and the look of shock and fear in his face is seared into my head. He moved so fast to chase down the car. I was frozen in place and can’t remember if my little brother was screaming or crying from the back seat.

My dad caught up to the car the same time it hit the street, hopped in, and but his foot on the break. The car jerked to a stop. After the check to see if we were OK I told him I was just trying to help, to save him time. And there is a part of me that believes that. But I did it because I was bored. I was tired of waiting. I wanted to get going to wherever we were going.

Since then I have been patient. I am perfectly comfortable sitting and waiting for something I know is going to happen. Waiting rooms are peaceful places for me. If someone is running behind I don’t mind I’ll wait. I think that’s why I love the movie “The Terminal” about a guy stuck, waiting in the international terminal of an airport. I would be that guy in that situation.

Those tiny but horrifying moments changed who I was, who I am today. I wouldn’t change it for the world.


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