Anyone who has known much about my life of the last 10 years or so will read that title and think to themselves, "I wonder what Grayson has done this time?" In that relatively short span he has had a near drowning, a skateboarding-induced brain injury, and has narrowly escaped being hit by a train. He has rolled not one but two cars while driving on the interstate, and has wrecked two others. As a pedestrian, he has been hit by a car at 50 mph. There are more incidents than these, but you get the idea. And now he is soon to be deployed as a Marine. So you will be relieved that this close call doesn't involve Grayson.
His brother Mackenzie now has the distinction of being spared death on the highway. His dad had just bought a car for him to drive three weeks ago.... it hadn't even been registered yet. Late Friday afternoon he left Greenville to join us up in Asheville NC for our family reunion. We're not sure what happened, whether he nodded off, blacked out (how he described it), or just lost concentration. He went off the road, sheared several trees and drove over a fallen tree before he T-boned straight into a large tree. The car is destroyed and the EMS personnel said that they couldn't believe he was alive. Yet he only has superficial scratches and soreness, as far as we can tell.
As a parent, I've gotten these calls so many times that I've become emotionally inured, I think. But my gray hairs keep sprouting and I keep wondering why it seems that my children have thus far survived so many incidents, when I can read any day in the paper of other children who are, in similar incidents, lost to their parents.
Because they have had these experiences, and because their siblings see all these accidents/judgment errors, our home certainly doesn't want for lack of "life lessons". Mackenzie has had more than his share of those "learning opportunities". How many more of these will it take? What important purpose do all these incidents, and resulting losses, add up to? Will life always involve phone calls from schools, from jails, from hospitals, from strangers that begin, "I think he's going to be alright, but I'm calling to let you know that your son has been involved in ... " ? And will a call come one day that doesn't have any positive news first, only sadness and regret? I can't help but think these thoughts.