I have these moments, you see.
Moments when I think Oh shit. Someone just put the time traveler into warp speed and I've turned into my mother.
The most significant of these moments in recent memory (yes, that's going, too) was last week. When I noticed my right arm was shooting away from the trunk of my body while I was approaching red lights in my car. Shooting away like it was bracing to hold an imaginary person in the passenger seat. Shooting away like my arm is made out of titanium steel and would be just the thing for keeping somebody safe and sound on my side of the windshield.
Yeah, you know what I'm talking about. Hell, you might catch yourself doing it from time to time.
It's no so much that my right arm has decided to operate independently from the rest of my body, but that this was a smart maneuver my mother employed when I would ride shot gun as a wee one in her pea green Honda Accord (yes, you should feel bad for me. It was a hideous car she got on sale and paid cash for when I was like, three years old. She ended up driving that damn car for 13 years until the good people at the dealership told her a key central beam had almost rusted through. Until that day, I had wanted the Earth to swallow me hole every time she picked me up from school. Seriously. The school bus would have been cooler in high school, and I think that says volumes.) She would thrust her forearm out whenever we approached red lights quickly or happened to be stopping short (Mom isn't always the best driver around and to this day requests somebody else drive to the city whenever we need to go... no matter which city we're talking about.)
I remember thinking at the spry age of 11 or so "Uh Mom. I don't think your arm would stop me if we were in an accident. In fact, it might hurt me."
She said something about how you never know and a mother's love is powerful and besides this just one more way I can try and protect you.
So 19 years later I find myself doing the same damn thing with my right arm. And I don't even have any kids to protect, just some ratty summer straw purse full of nonsensical things like my wallet, lip gloss, my cell phone and matchbooks from a few choice bars around town.
Things that wouldn't mind getting smacked against the windshield.
But then again, maybe I don't want all that junk thrust against the glass like a rock in a slingshot. Because then my windshield would break and I'd have to hassle with the insurance company and price out for the best estimates and rent a car while the new windshield was getting installed and...
I'm definitely getting old.