Today was pretty momentous. I got my first COVID vaccine. It is my Aunt’s birthday. Those are really great things. I kept saying that I wanted the vaccine for my birthday (which is next month) and it was like the universe got it but not exactly right.
It was a long drive to receive the vaccination. I was a bundle of anxiety about the entire thing. My sister had been turned away twice in our attempts to vaccinate her so that is always lingering in the back of my mind. Thinking that I would get there and be turned away. But that is not what happened. I went right in. I answered a few questions and I was ushered into the back and given the shot. Simple. Fast. Highly recommend. I traveled home and finished work.
My son, who just got his learners’ permit, feels the need to drive every day. I am not as enthusiastic. He is definitely risk averse so that works in my favor but when you get in the car with a brand new driver, you realize the millions of things that you do every day when you are driving that are mindless. And you realize it because the new driver has to contemplate which way to turn the wheel of the car to back up and go the right way. But I let my son take an extended drive tonight. We drove up to the main road where the farmstand that he works at is. He is not ready to drive on the main road yet. We turned around and went back down to the road that runs along the beach.
We pulled into the beach parking lot. There was a family with two small children with their dog taking advantage of a mostly empty parking lot. One kid was on a skateboard and one was on a scooter. We stayed far away as my son practiced backing into a parking spot. At one point he got in mostly straight, when the family dog came running up, off leash. The mom was running over calling the dog’s name over and over. “Bailey. Bailey.” Bailey was not interested in coming back to being leashed. She took off sprinting through the parking lot. She took a turn and headed out onto the road outside of the beach. The mom took off after her. The children, a small boy and smaller girl, hugged each other and the girl cried.
I had gotten out of the car and ran back to grab a mask. As I got to the kids, I could see the dog out on the road. One car approached. The mom screamed and the little girl shrieked. All I could think was that this dog was about to get run over and the kids were going to see it. I started to talk to them. I asked them the dog’s name. They told me. I rubbed the little girl’s back. Another car on the road, coming close to hitting the dog.
Then the little girl called out the dog’s name, Bailey. The dog stopped running, outside of the fence, next to the main road and looked right towards the girl. I told the kids, let’s call Bailey. So we did. And sure enough, she flew past the woman, back into the parking lot, running at full speed, right at me. I grabbed her collar and held on for dear life. Bailey was so amped up. So exhilarated to have been out completely free. No fear of the cars or anything. She finally stopped twisting as her mom met us and was able to get the leash back on her. She thanked me so much but all I could think was that I would not have been able to handle being with those kids if their dog had been hit.
I got back in the car with my son. My heart was pounding. I needed a minute. I thought that the shot would be awful. That driving with my son was nerve wracking. But it was like the universe, the one that gave me a shot for my Aunt’s birthday also wanted to let me know that, whatever I was feeling, about the shot, about my son driving, was so small. That there are way more nerve wracking things that could happen. And to not forget that.