Sometimes your family still has the power to surprise you, even though you know them better than anyone else in the world.
Tonight, we did some running around, including picking Coryn up from his cooking class and Nicole from her Zumba class. We stopped for a quick dinner and then capped it off with strawberry shortcake from Burgerville (yum). We were all in a silly mood, making jokes about middle names and nicknames and making funny (and yes, lewd) shapes with our ice cream.
Just as we got close to home, there was a large shape in the road. We narrowly missed it and the car behind us hit it head on. It was a very large dog and it was clearly dead now. On the side of the road, a woman stood crying.
Joseph called 911 to report the dog, then pulled the car around and placed it in front of the dog so that no one else could hit it. I stood with the woman, telling her how sorry I was and occasionally patting her shoulder (I offered hugs but she did not seem receptive). We stayed with her for the long 10 minutes it took for the police to arrive. Minutes after the woman's husband joined her and just down the street, I could see several children holding hands and watching and knew this was their family pet. It made me cry.
It brought back memories too. I lost several family dogs to the very busy street in front of my parents' house as I grew up. My brother lost his first dog there as well. More than a decade ago, we also lost our beautiful collie Pasha when she nosed the gate open and ran out into the road and got hit by a terrified and tear stricken 16 year old boy. It was one of the only times, in 30 years, I have ever seen my husband cry.
Once the husband and the police arrived, we moved our car and came on home. I found out that both of my sons were extremely disturbed by the death of the dog--to the point of silence. When we got home, both were quiet and sad and needed a little extra touch and attention, in their grown up ways. :)
Tonight, I was reminded that my husband is a man of tenderness and integrity, my daughter is able to step in and take charge, and my sons still have sensitive hearts under those young adult facades. I am almost unbearably proud of each one of them.