My daughters were in a car accident last night. Vail Pass, 10,000 feet, Rocky Mountains. Descending into Vail. Treacherous enough even in perfect conditions. But the conditions weren’t perfect. It was snowing. Limited visibility, but the roads were fine. Nothing was sticking. My youngest, the passenger, had just texted me. Take it slow, I said. Don’t follow too closely. We aren’t, she texted back. Five minutes later I got the phone call. They came over a crest to five inches of slush on the road. Brake lights and spun out cars in front of them. They braked. Nothing. My oldest, who was driving, swerved to miss the car in front of her and instead smashed into a cement wall, buried in snow. What to do? Get out? Sit tight? And then came the semi. It braked, jack-knifed, clipped the car in front of them that my oldest swerved to missed. Drug it. Pulled the bumper off. The couple inside emerged, grabbed their baby from the back seat and went running up the hill along the interstate. A baby. Man, she could have killed that baby. She also could have been sitting there in the middle of the road, right where the semi came through, big and heavy and completely out of control. Instead, she hit the cement wall. Later, after I’d driven two hours to pick them up, to see their faces, their alive and well faces, to hug them and hold them close, their father texted. Something about how too bad she wasn’t paying attention. I said maybe she was paying attention. She had probably just saved her own life and that of her sister as well as the baby’s. He said I know. I said then you might want to tell her you know. He said I will. A smashed car, increased insurance rates, two rattled teenagers, four hours of driving for mom. But lessons learned. Invaluable experience. And another opportunity to exercise compassion, to love, to model coolheadedness, to be grateful for what wasn’t and for what is.