My two year-old daughter is in the backseat and we’re driving to the pediatrician. She’s fine, but she just had a birthday so it’s time for a well visit. The morning is foggy; not a magical, mystical fog that dances with random beams of penetrating sunlight, but a depressing, heavy, bland sort of fog that makes everything seem the same color and makes it onerous to even sing along to the radio. We have to drive over this little mountain to get to the doctor’s office, and the road winds as it rises. As we get higher, the fog gets thicker and we keep passing cars that don’t have their headlights on. Each one makes me just a little more crazy. How could anyone forget to turn on their headlights in a fog like this? Do they WANT to die?! The fog’s dreariness has made me grumpy and I complain in a sing-songy voice to my daughter. “Oh, these silly people who don’t have their headlights on!” The cars that most vex me are the gray ones. “Hi there, you are the same color as the fog! Turn on your lights!” We crest the mountain and descent the other side, and as the fog loses some of its density so does my mood.
We get to the doctor’s in one piece and the visit lacks any real surprises; my daughter is still tall, and she still cries at any poke and prod by a nurse or the doctor. A cute addition, however, is how she hides her face in her stuffed tiger when the pediatrician enters the room and that she refuses to even look at him.
Going home, the fog is no less heavy, and the mountain road is no less undulating. I continue giving the stink-eye to every car without its headlights on. Then right about when we reach the highest point on the road, I realize that I, noble crusader for proper headlight use, have failed to turn on my own. I correct the situation and promptly die of embarrassment.