Five years old. The car spun off the road and stopped without jarring us, slid to a stop nosefirst in a bank of soft dirty snow. My father got very quiet. He tried and tried and I waited in the back seat, assuming he would fix it, waiting for when we would be back on the road and I could go back to sleep. Door slams, he's gone. My mother, trying to explain, looked over the seat at me, reached over to stroke my hair, something she did not do.   all be ok everything's fine   For the first time I saw that she was afraid. She stayed in the front seat with the baby - he was still "the baby" then - and I tried to watch the snow, but it was like trying to see through static in a tv; I got tired of watching and went back to sleep. How did we get out? I don't know, but we did.

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