Ah yes, so what happened after Mom received THIS TEXT?
No, I managed not to crash the car.
Yes, First I hit "SPEED DIAL SON." I didn't really read the text (I was driving. I, ahem, never text and drive...) Not surprisingly, Son didn't answer.
Second, I texted back. "CALL. ME. NOW."
Yes, he called rapidly.
Third, I congratulated him for contacting me and not "hiding" anything. Oh, you think I'm crazy do you? When you realize the Ex had custody and there's no reason I would ever have found out about any of this - oh except for the eventual phone call from the insurance company - I decided to start with a positive by recognizing the honesty involved. Yes, many of you got a kick out of the part where he said, "stick to our story...." and yes, I thought that was hilarious. Indeed it was what made me freak out most, second only to wondering if he was, in fact, physically ok. Fact is, he leveled with me on what "story" he was "sticking to" so I gave him credit for at least being honest with me.
Fourth, I told him to read me the text, then I deposed him on the subject of text and details of said accident:
"R U HURT? [no]
Was anyone hurt? [no] ...
Who, what, where, when, how, why...
What "story" are you sticking to? [oh, the one about only 2 kids were in the backseat, not 3 or was it 4 really piled in back there?]
Did Dad know and approve you were riding with child driver [yes]?
Did Dad know and approve you had too many kids in car [no]?
Did you call Dad yet and tell him about accident [no]?
Snarky aside - he called his momma first, he called his momma first. Who does he turn to? momma. [um and no not because I am the more relaxed disciplinarian. We both kick their butts equally....]
I explained why he had to call Dad and tell him and why I had to check and make sure he called Dad (no, not because I don't trust you but because I have a legal obligation to inform him when a child has been in an accident... "divorce 101").
I explained why if he ever gets in a car again that does not have 1 seatbelt per rider, and, indeed, that seatbelt is not WORN, he will never, ever be allowed to:
1) get his permit [which is only 6 weeks away]
2) get his license
3) ride with anyone but his mother or father AND
4) the same restrictions will apply to his children and grandchildren until I die...
Ironically, Ex called Son while we were talking. Son said, "Don't tell Dad I told you first - he always says has to be first." I responded, "I can't lie to him, but I doubt the subject will come up anyway..." As it turned out, Son dropped the dime on himself b/c Insurance Agent found Dad (Sister/Daughter was at my house getting something, answered the phone, heard insurance agent ask about brother's accident, panicked, ran phone over to Dad's house next door, and voila, Dad finds out about accident from Insurance Agent, not Son. Oops) Son's excuse to dad? "I was talking to Mom - I was about to tell you....."
Yeah and if you are still reading and following any of it, you know that after all the convoluted story telling and coincidences, no one was hurt, but it was a giant wake-up-call/reality check. No, I didn't ground him for life - first, he wasn't in my custody, second, he turned to me when it all hit the fan. The old me would've ripped his head off and spit down his neck, then stopped to ask questions. The new me says, "Listen to what he's saying, try to understand how he got into this situation, make it perfectly clear that he shouldn't have been in it in the first place, give him options for how to handle this predicament in the future, and love him. Love him so he knows how precious he is." And that's what I chose to do.
Oh, and Son? IF THERE IS A NEXT TIME - CALL!!!!! DO NOT TEXT!!!!
what's that I see? a few gray hairs? wrinkles? high blood pressure? where'd I put that bottle of wine...