“Mom, I had an accident,” Will’s distress came loud and clear through my car speaker as I drove home from work Friday. “What happened? Are you hurt?”
“No. But my car is really damaged on both sides. And the couple who hit me, their old truck is old, but they can’t afford to replace their truck. I kept saying I was sorry.”
“It’s my fault, Mom. I forgot to look both ways and pulled out in front of them. I wish I had just gone home instead of going to the store to buy a new phone”
“Oh Will, at least you weren’t hurt. Was any one else hurt?”
“They were checking out the older lady. She might be hurt a little. … I have to hang up. The policeman is here.”
I could hear the policeman asking for Will’s proof of insurance and registration.
My phone rang a few minutes later.”
“Mom, I can’t find my registration. It’s not here, not here, not here, not here,” he said shuffling through papers in his glove compartment. “Oh no, oh no, oh no,” panic was rising.
“Will, other people have lost their registration. It’ll be alright.” I hoped. “Just tell the policeman you can’t find it, but you knew it was there the last time you looked.”
“Okay. I have to hang up. He’s back.”
The phone went dead. I had come in the house during the conversation, and I sat in my chair, praying. I prayed that Will would not have a meltdown. His autism might become especially troublesome at a time like this. I prayed that he wouldn’t be overcome by panic.
Ralph walked in the door a few minutes later with Mary. He had picked her up from work.
“Will had an accident.”
“Oh no. Is he all right?”
“Yes. But his car is very damaged. And he’s in distress.”
My phone rang again. “Mom, it was alright. The policeman was able to find my registration on his computer. Now I have to wait for the tow truck to come.”
“How are you going to get home.”
“They are going to give me a ride.”
“Who is going to give you a ride.”
“The tow truck driver or the policeman. I’ll call you when I get home.”
“When you get home, call your insurance company right away. They will tell you what to do next.”
Will called us after about an hour. He told us that the insurance company was setting up an adjuster to come out an look at the car. They gave him the choice of where to have it fixed with one of their contractors. And they were arranging for him to have a rental.
“Would you like us to come and visit you?”
“Do you want us to come tonight or tomorrow.”
“Tomorrow is okay. I don’t want you to come over tonight.”
“We will, if you need us to.”
“No, I’ll be okay tonight.”
“Have you eaten yet?”
“You need to eat something.”
“Okay, I will. ”
“See you tomorrow. I’ll bring some food to cook for you.”
The next day, Patty and I drove over to his house, took him shopping for food. We visited him. Let him talk it out. He didn’t eat the night before. I bought him lunch at McDonald’s, and he told me he hadn’t eaten much that morning either. He was too upset. But he felt much better after eating.
I made chicken and dumplings last night, and crockpot roast pork today.
“I’m so glad you came,” he said today. “But I still can’t stop thinking about about it. What if the company I am going to work for decides not to hire me? They are going to do a background check.”
“I don’t think they are going to use this not to hire you. Besides, it probably won’t appear on your record for a while.”
“Would you like your Dad to come over today? I’ll go home and send him back. He can help you get around and get everything arranged. He can drive you to work tomorrow so you don’t have to think about that.”
“Okay. I still wish I hadn’t decided to go to the store to buy that phone. If only I had gone straight home.”
“Will, it’s normal to feel that way. In a few weeks, you’ll feel better, but you’ll still think about it for a while. When I had my accident, I did the same thing. Running over it in my mind. But you have to stop yourself from thinking about it, distract yourself as much as you can.”
“I haven’t been feeling good. My throat has felt funny and I’ve had a headache this week.”
“That’s anxiety, Will. You’ve been dealing with these interviews this week, and made a big decision to leave your current job and go on to another job. That’s a big deal, even though it’s a good event”
Will had four interviews this week, received a job offer, and accepted it. A lot more money, and bonuses. In three years, Will has obtained a valuable skill set in WorkDay. He’s been contacted by numerous recruiters this year. He decided to send his resume directly to the companies the recruiters were trying to refer him to. He’s had interviews with three different companies this week. One of them hired him.
So on Monday, he is going to be messing with this car business, and giving his two week notice to his current employer. They called him into a meeting last week and told him they were trying to get him a raise and a remote position so he could work from home. They were too late.
“You’ll have to push on Will. It’s a risk, but they wouldn’t have hired you if they didn’t need your skills.”
“What if I can’t do it?”
“I’ll be praying for you, and so will your Dad.”
When I got home from Will’s I said to Ralph, “He’s looking pretty thin. I don’t think he’s been eating right. Patty said he’s been eating poptarts for breakfast.” Patty stayed with him for a week this summer. Cook for him when you get there.”
After Ralph arrived, Patty called to ask what I had done with the garbage bags. “Oh, I found them,” and she hung up. Ralph and Patty were cleaning his house.
Sometimes our kids need extra support.