Jason Keil

Jason Keil is a writer whose work has been published in the Phoenix New Times, AZCentral.com, Phoenix Magazine, and OnMilwaukee.com. He also co-hosts the podcast What The Fork.

Fatherhood: Week 16-Accident

I saw the old Toyota Camry rapidly approaching us in my rear view mirror. I braced for impact.

Two things ran through my trembling brain as my nearly brand new (to me) Honda shook from the collision:

  • Is my family ok?
  • I can't have nice things.

When all was said and done, every safety feature protected us as advertised. The bumper on our Honda Civic absorbed the force of the crash. Beckett's car seat kept my son snug and secure. I have some lingering soreness, but there are no serious injuries to report.

As I watched the EMTs check a smiling Beckett for injuries, I was shaken up with some perspective. We were driving back from our first family trip to Flagstaff. Holiday traffic to our destination made a two-hour drive into a four-hour nightmare. Our itinerary revolved around Beckett's feeding and nap schedule. The extended drive did us no favors. 

We experienced fun mixed with frustration. I knew things would not be the same when we became parents, but I did not realize how drastic that change would be. We were doing the same things in Flagstaff that we would do in Phoenix, just at a higher elevation with cooler temperatures. It didn't feel like the juice was worth the squeeze.

14232573_660095358435_1284163610888111587_n.jpg

As we began our drive home on Monday, I started to wonder if we could travel again. What would Christmas trips be like? How would Beckett deal with being on a plane? I remembered how frustrated my parents seemed when my sister and I traveled with them. I asked myself, "Is this why my parents went to Disneyland without us?" Before I could answer the question, I saw that Camry barreling towards us.

It took another four hours to get back home. I unleashed a storm of tears when we finally made it. I was happy we were safe and disappointed in myself for thinking such selfish thoughts.

I honestly do not know what I would have done if something had happened to my family. I'm glad I did not have to find out. They are the nicest things I have.