Woman texting while looking surprised on phone

Dear moms, dear dads,

A big clunk of a Chevy Suburban veered suddenly and dramatically into my lane this morning and dang nearly clipped my car on the way to drop my kid off at school. We were going 55 on the main highway leading into town. Had I not demonstrated the reflexes of a panther and the vehicular agility of an Earnhardt, I’d be writing a grumpy rant post about my new smashed in front fender right now. Or maybe much worse.

The Suburban pulled to a light ahead. I pulled up right next to it, fully prepared to give the lady driver the stink eye of all stink eyes. She almost killed my kid and all. She never looked over at me, though. She was far too engrossed in whatever goodness on her smart phone had probably caused her recklessness to begin with. I’m guessing she had no idea how close she had come to causing a serious accident. Through the tinted back windows, I could make out no fewer than four little heads belonging to little bodies in her back seats.

The light turned. I left her behind for a few seconds until she realized that traffic had moved on without her, and she suddenly stepped on it and caught up. Again we stopped at a light. Again I looked over and saw her buried in her phone. Again, she was left behind once the light turned green.

I watched her through my rearview mirror. She almost clipped the silver Optima behind me, baring into its lane the way she had mine. A last second swerve by both of them saved the collision. The Optima let out a big honk and the last thing I saw was a double-armed hand gesture toward the Suburban woman, who only gave a tiny wave back, as if to say, “oops, my bad!”

That was this morning.

I was at the park with my son this afternoon. We had our first swinging contest of the year (you’ll never guess who won that one). Three swings over, a young girl was pumping back and forth, lost in her own little world as her mother sat over on the concrete ledge surrounding the playground, angrily discussing some business deal with a mysterious person on the other end. This mother had barely looked at her child. I get that. It happens sometimes.

Then her child fell backwards out of the swing. Hard.

She landed on her back and neck, and as a parent I cringed. I knew what was about to come.

Sure enough. A looooooonnnnng pause as she waited for the wind to enter her lungs again. And then dramatic screaming as this child attempted to figure out what just happened.

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Dan Pearce is an American born writer, photographer, and artist. His books include "The All-Important, Well-Fed, Giant White Man" and "The Real Dad Rules." He is best known for his blog (and supporting Facebook page) "Single Dad Laughing," with 2 million followers as of 2018.