Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Be On The Lookout!

Nearly two years ago, a tragedy nearly occurred in my small family when my wife, Sharon, backed over our then 4-year-old son Jackson after a family reunion downtown.
Jack was supposed to be in a different care and Sharon was already in the process of backing out and never saw him.
By the grace of God, Jack suffered only minor injuries - mainly to his ear and head. In fact, he still has an area on his scalp where his hair refuses to grow. It serves as a reminder, though none is needed.
Sharon suffered from the incident. It weighed heavily on her soul and the slightest sound or bump in an automobile was nearly too much for her to handle. It terrified her.
Lately, our baby, Sutton, has taken it upon himself to run out in the street. Three times last week.
Sutton, 3, took off for the road during Jack’s t-ball practice. I happen to see him and shouted, “SUTTON HAWK STOP NOW!”
He did. And so did everybody else in a two block radius.
Twenty minutes later, he did run out in the street and Sharon quickly reigned him back in.
I punished him that night. Granted, my punishments are, by old-school standards, pretty mild because the boys mind pretty well. They get in the most trouble for endangering themselves and others, rudeness, attitude and lying. Obviously, this was a safety issue.
Anyhow, the very next night, as soon as I walked into the yard, Jackson, whose in the sandbox playing with his brother and cousin, yells to me, “Dad, I have to tell you something!”
Sutton screams out, “Nooooooooooooooooo ... don’t tell him!”
Then, Sutton precedes to come and tell on himself.
Needless to say, Sutton and I adjourned into privacy and I gave him a strong message. I pray it worked.
You know, when you go through what we went through two years ago, and you have these small children who just run out into traffic .... it just scares the death out of you. Hopefully mine are learning to slow down and look.
I’m sharing this with you, not so you’ll call Child Protective Services on me, but as a reminder. Warn your children to watch out for cars. Tell them to stay out of the street if they’re young and if they ride bicycles or scooters, urge them to wear a helmet and watch out for cars. NEVER ASSUME A DRIVER SEES YOU!
Additionally, local children will be taking to the streets for an additional eight hours a day in a few weeks. Please, please be aware of them, especially around the parks and residential areas.
We can’t always avoid a tragedy, but we have a fighting chance when we are aware of our surroundings.

Copyright Christopher Blackburn 2009

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