The unmistakable sound of metal crunching metal. I haven’t heard it many times in my life, but it elicits the same response each time.

Oh, no. No. NO. Nnnnnnoooo. Man. Uh-oh. You’re kidding, right? No.

Shortly after I got my driver’s license, I was hurrying to go to my job at the local grocery store. It was pouring down rain and my mom’s bright blue station wagon was parked behind my beautiful silver Camaro in the garage. I didn’t want to move her car in the rain, so I decided to try to back around it.

Crunch. The front of my Camaro had hit the huge bumper of the station wagon. The worst part was that no matter what I did — put the car in reverse or try to go forward — it was as if I was stuck to the station wagon. I couldn’t get free. I finally had to go inside and ask my mom to help me remove the Camaro from the side of her car.

And that’s exactly what went through my head on Sunday when I heard that sound. THAT crunch. What if I’m stuck to the car next to me? The shiny silver Nissan that I just hit as I was trying to pull my big red minivan out of the parking lot at church. What if I have to go inside and ask someone to help me get the van OFF of the car.

Fortunately, it wasn’t that bad. Still, it was bad.

It was my son’s birthday and we were heading out for some fun with a friend of his from church. With four children between the ages of 8 and 4 in the car, we were bouncing with so much joy and excitement that I didn’t even notice the little car to my right. Just ran right into it.

Then I had to walk back inside, heavy-hearted, with the four bouncy children and find the owner. Tell him the bad news.

Much better than what I did in high school. I was so embarrased that I told all of my friends someone had run into MY car while it was parked at Wal-Mart.

I would really love to dig a hole and crawl inside. Change churches. Heck, maybe move completely. I feel so awful for the owner, knowing what a pain it is to go get your car fixed. To just deal with the appointments when your life is busy enough the way it is. But I know it could have been worse.

At least there wasn’t a PERSON standing there. I soooo wish someone had hit my car instead. It’s amazing how quickly things happen. How one instant of distraction can result in so much damage.

I hope I don’t hear that crunch again for a very long time.

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