I was lying in bed the other night, like a hundred other nights. It was one of those rare cool summer nights and we had the windows open. As usual, Neil was sleeping peacefully next to me while I lay there with my thoughts rolling around in my head. Back when I was working, I used to lay in bed at night, just the same, and think about the proposals I was working on. And I thought that when I left all that stress behind to become supermom that I would sleep like a baby. Which, as it turns out, is exactly what I do. Only the joke's on me, because babies don't sleep all that well.
So, as I'm lying there, my thoughts are repeatedly interrupted by cars racing down our street. We live on a two lane road that connects most of the sections within our neighborhood. I would not consider it a heavy traffic road, but neither is it a quiet side street. Our house is about halfway between a stoplight and a stopsign with about a mile between the two. Because of the distance, many drivers will race down this stretch of road. Before the baby, this didn't really bother me. But now, I have horrible visions of my little one running out into the street. She's not even walking yet, so maybe I'm a tad premature, but I know the time will be here before I know it.
I'm not that far removed from my own racing days that I don't appreciate the desire to zip down these quieter streets, and even today I'm not a fan of speedbumps, but as a parent I just can't be comfortable watching these cars race down our street. So I started to wonder what it would take to get a speedbump or hump or something to hopefully slow people down. I made a mental note to call the county and find out. (I have not yet done this. Shocker.)
And then as the mind is prone to do during these quiet hours, my mind wandered to another place. A trip to Playa del Carmen, Mexico I took a couple of years ago with my best friend and my oldest friend, both of whom are dear to me beyond words. We rented a car while we were there. I did all of the driving because I'm that kind of control freak. For the most part, the roads were good and traffic patterns and laws were fairly similar to what we are used to here. However, there was one element that took me completely by surprise. Gigantic speed humps. I don't think I'm being conservative when I say they were three feet high. The trouble was that they were not well marked. On one occasion as we headed south on the highway to Tulum for a day trip, I was cruising at a pretty good clip when we came up on one of these humps. The only sign for it was right next to it and there was no paint or reflectors to draw attention to it. I think I had just enough time after noticing it to slam on the brakes and say something along the lines of "holy hats, hold on!" I might actually have done the arm thing across my friend's chest, too.
We hit that speedhill at about 70 kph and I think it is fair to say that we launched. I don't know what my face looked like, but I can say that the expressions on the other occupants of the car was that of sheer terror. I'm pretty sure my heart didn't slow down to a safe pace for two days. Needless to say, I kept a closer eye out for those bastards from then on because our little rental toyonissan couldn't possibly survive another one.
That was a great trip, despite the additional speedbumps that we hit on a personal level: sun poisoning, a travel agency scam and a fight that almost ruined a 20 year friendship. Just like those speedmountains on that highway down the Mexican coast, life's bumps generally don't come with warnings, but you get over them and you're a little wiser the next time.