at this point in time, tim hadn't too many years of city driving under his belt yet, having mostly experienced the wide-open, can-see-for-miles highways of western kansas. so stop-and-go traffic wasn't his thing. gas pedal? oh, yeah. but followed immediately with the brake? what nonsense!
so, we're lurching along when we notice our immediate need to be in the other lane. in front of us was a huge city bus. behind us? a tour bus. beside us in our lane of choice? a large dump truck and just the tiniest of open space behind it with another city bus fast approaching.
my mario andretti took milliseconds to decide, shouted, "hang on, family!" hit the brakes to swerve into that minuscule (and getting "minusculer" by the second) spot and instantaneously stomped the gas to shoot onto the frontage road as that same spot closed again with the city bus now bumper to bumper with the dump truck.
it all happened so quickly. at the first swerve, i looked back at the kids (who were, oh . . . 7 and 8 years old?). andrew's eyes were wide with horror and his mouth hung open. tori's balled fists pressed against her eyes. my only thought? 'my children!' but nobody made a sound.
tim moseyed into a parking spot at sear's, turned off the ignition, laughed nervously and inquired, "everybody ok?" andrew and i were still stunned (the hysteria came much later), but tori's small sad voice floated up from the back seat, "i never knew how much i love my family until just now."
this story became known as "the incident." it was the first in a long line of incidents at which we can now laugh.