Friday, July 22, 2011

A Rant to Parents

I don't like to rant on this blog. But every once in a while....

Parents...please watch your children.

Yesterday, I had jury duty in town.  I reported to the courthouse at 8:00 a.m.   We waited 2 hours before we were called to the courtroom.  The jury selection was for a civil case to award damages.  The case involved a dog.  I may have mentioned in previous post that I am afraid of dogs.  When I was young, I was chased by a large German Shepherd at a playground.  My sister was with me and we ran up a sliding board and stood on the top platform.  The owner of the dog saw the whole thing but did not call off his dog.  After a few minutes, the dog ran back to his owner.  I logically know this situation was about more about the dog owner than the dog.  This event caused me to be afraid of dogs.  I was not picked for the jury.

I was dismissed from jury duty at lunch and headed to work.  I was driving out of the city one traffic light at a time.  I approached the city limits.  There was a single lane of traffic in each direction.  There was parking permitted on each side of the street.  To the left was a large cemetery and on the right a row of houses.   There was a man parking his car on the left across from the houses.  A small toddler in a bright pink outfit was on the sidewalk to the right.  I am driving slow and watching. The toddler ran out in the middle of the street toward the man.  She had no concept of the danger.  I hit my brakes and stopped a cars length from the toddler.  The man came across the street and scooped up the child.  The man gave me a dirty look.

Who was watching this child?  She was standing alone on the sidewalk next to a busy street.

When my daughter was little, I made sure she held my hand.  I tried to be diligent about parking lots and streets.  There are no sidewalks in my neighborhood.  The kids play in the street.   There are at least two portable basketball nets sitting on the edge of the street between parked cars.  The kids like to wait until a car drives up the street.  They shoot baskets over the moving car from across the street.  The same unsupervised group of kids used to ride their Big Wheel on the street.

So parents...please watch your children in parking lots and near streets.  This advice comes from a person who was run over by a car at 2 years old.  We were standing in front of an ice cream shop.  I pulled away from my group and darted off the curb.  My Mom told me there were tire tracks on my clothing.  The doctor thought my arm was crushed.  It healed completely. 

I was very lucky.

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