Thursday, March 02, 2006


posted by Michael Piwonka 11:41 PM
Yesterday we learned about a shortcoming of the suicide doors on my Honda Element. Since the doors hinge at the rear, I commonly end up closing the door after the kids get in because they have a harder time reaching the door handle, and because I have to close the rear door before I can close the front door.

Since I'm closing the door instead of the kids, I'm less likely to know when everyone has their hands and feet out of the way. Unfortunately, Allie had her hand resting across the door jam when I closed the door yesterday evening. Immediately she screamed for me to open the door! Mason started crying frantically, I started crying, Allie started crying. Everyone was crying.

While it hurt badly, and left small bruises on two fingers, thankfully nothing was broken. Once the initial throbbing subsided, she was open to move all her fingers normally.

I sat in the back seat next to Allie to test how the door would close on my fingers. As I gingerly pulled the door toward the closed position with my fingers in the way, I realized that my fingers wouldn't have fared as well. Allie's small fingers fit tightly between the door and jam, squeezed by the foam insulation that seals the door. I'm sure that an adult would have broken bones if they had been in Allie's situation.

I felt really bad, having smashed my fingers in car doors from time to time in the past. I know how it feels.

Later in the evening, I think Allie had just about forgotten about it after the pain subsided, but I brought up the incident again so I could pay Mason a compliment. I told him how I was touched by his empathy for his sister, starting to cry practically before Allie did. Allie smiled slightly, knowing that Mason probably wouldn't ever want to admit to such a thing. Mason sheepishly looked away.

We've started a new ritual upon entering the car: everyone has to say "All clear!" before the doors close.


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