Where Motherhood and Race cars Collide

Race driver helmet with danger sticker
Edited photo by Pepper Bowes, courtesy of the author

“Get out. Get out of the car. There is smoke.”

I knew that as a card-carrying member of my younger son’s pit crew, I could not let hysteria enter my voice, so I said the words dispassionately, but with force.

Jake had left the race track and driven hard to the front of pit lane, bleeding speed from race fast down to zero, keying his mike and asking my husband, Jim, if the engine sounded different. Which meant that it sounded different to him.

Viperous twists of smoke oozed from the joints where the fiberglass was held to the frame by Dzus buttons. Jake reached back and twisted the red handle that protruded from the car like a carnival clown’s tongue to OFF, and popped the emergency release on the five point seat belts that held his upper and lower body and his arms in webbed straps as though he were a prisoner instead of a willing participant.

Jake wrenched off his helmet with the requisite HANS Device that would prevent his neck from snapping if he spun into a wall. He glanced at the switch labeled “fire” that would have triggered the extinguisher that nested beneath his legs if he’d been trapped inside the car, but instead, he stepped out of the carbon fiber tub that had encased his body and unzipped his fire suit while he contemplated the flow of dark purple fluid ever widening and distancing itself from its source. Already planning the cleanup, searching for the leak.

I stared at the stream, the life blood of the car, the color of bruising, the color of ink, the color of grand champion ribbons. Jake wouldn’t be the blue- blooded winner this time. But no one died.

No one ever dies, I said to myself for the hundredth time.

--

--

--

Veterinarian CSU 1975. Mom. Rider of mustangs. Author of Napa Valley Vets, novel Colorado Blood, and over 20 case reports and features for EQUUS and on line..

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

Golden Thumb Parenting Tips 金拇指育兒秘笈[029]

How (and why!) to set family goals

Devil Named

Once You Carry your own Water, You will Learn the Value of Every Drop

Born for this: No one knows how to hunker down like a new mom

I Don’t Know if I Ever Want To Start a Family of My Own

Interracial heterosexual couple of white male and brown-skinned female with short curly hair. The mom is holding a 2 year old on her lap and they’re reading her a story from a big, brown, old-looking book. They are sitting on a living room floor next to the couch.

The Reason Why Prioritizing Fitness is Hard AF

Potty Training Perils #1

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Patty Latham

Patty Latham

Veterinarian CSU 1975. Mom. Rider of mustangs. Author of Napa Valley Vets, novel Colorado Blood, and over 20 case reports and features for EQUUS and on line..

More from Medium

an open letter to an old friend (The Effect)

A Lesson that Pandemic Teaching Taught Me by Lori Ayotte

Things to take care of as an Lenovo distributor

Goldie Brangman-Dumpson