My brother is nearly five years older than me and, when he’s not filming me post tooth extraction, I love him dearly. When we were growing up, I always remember my Mum being absolutely adamant that she never wanted him to have a motorbike. I don’t think she’d had personal experience of knowing anyone that had been involved in a motorbike crash – I think she, like all Mums, was just scared of what could happen.
I didn’t really understand … until I became a Mum myself.
Thankfully, my brother listened to her and never bought one. In fact, we were both lucky enough to be put on our parents’ insurance so that we could drive their car until we had our own – all part of the NEVER BUY A MOTORBIKE campaign.
Fast forward several(!) years and I’m now the mother to two sons, one who is now eighteen years old, and over the last few years I have found myself echoing what my Mum told my brother.
Tonight, after work, I was reminded why my Mum and I were always so vocal about no motorbikes because Dexter and I witnessed a young moped rider crashing into a car, spinning across a four way junction and lying motionless in the road.
I had pulled the car over to attend an appointment, Dexter sat in the passenger seat, and we heard a horrendous crash just ahead. In a split second, the moped was spinning around on the floor, as was the driver.
I dialed 999 and calmly explained what had happened and asked for the police and an ambulance to be sent. I guess I didn’t want to scare Dexter so was very calm but the poor boy on the floor wasn’t moving.
It could so easily have been my eldest son.
Motorbikes and mopeds scare the goddamn bejesus out of me.
I left my details with the police operator but can’t imagine being told whether the rider survived or not.
I will try not to scare Dexter too much when I tell him what I told his brother, but put it this way, he is NEVER getting a motorbike. Ever.
So tonight, as I lie in bed watching ridiculously inane programmes on MTV, there’s a mother somewhere whose son is in hospital and I pray to God that I’m never in her position.