10 minutes. That’s about all that it takes for me to bring my girl to Chinese class from her school. Today started off as, well, just another day. No wait, I was in half a grouchy mood due to the sweltering heat that I had to endure, Alex flicked the food off the spoon while I was trying to feed him because he thought it was a game to hide from me, and he tugged on my hair really hard after nursing him in bed coz he stepped on it while trying to cross over my face.
When it was time to go, we hailed a cab to pick Alicia up from school to go for Chinese class. So we were in the cab with the usual routine of her eating a light snack with a bonus sweet for promising to be good during Chinese class. I had just taken my eyes off the road for that moment to pack up some stuff and rummage through her bag to check if she had really left her water bottle in school when it happened.
I was flung forward, little boy knocked his head against the passenger seat in front and I saw Alicia being thrown forward. Thank God that the cabby had reflexes fast enough to stretch out his left arm to ‘catch’ Alicia from hitting her head because the seat belt was too long for her.
Everything happened in just a matter of that few seconds but I can still replay the scene vividly in my mind when our cab came to a complete stop on the road – that stinking off-white van which just sped out, doing a right turn to a major road while we were going straight on the right lane. We were so freaking close to that van!
Thankfully, no one was hurt and Alicia was just crying in shock and fortunately, the cars behind us weren’t tailgating or we would be most definitely in hospital right now. If we had crashed into the van, I wouldn’t be around at all.
It was such a short journey, a journey that we have been making for almost a year now on a weekly basis and because it was a mere 10 minutes out of the entire day, I would say I hardly took note of it. It was but another routine in my mundane life. Today’s close shave made me appreciate the littlest things in life – the scorching heat I was complaining about meant that I was still alive to feel it, wiping the sweat off my little boy’s head and watching my little girl sip at her cup of water before Chinese class meant that I have my little ones safe with me.
Today I learnt a lesson. You never know how that 10 minutes could change your life, forever, so learn to appreciate the smallest things in life.
And if you travel on the road, please stay safe and drive safely.
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