Last night I went to church and met a woman who lost her 15 year old son in a fluke accident 4 weeks ago. He was in the car with his 24 year old cousin. They were both incredible kids. The 24 year old female was transporting her cousin back from an event they attended together. They were both only children.
When I got home I got a phone call from someone struggling because he just heard about a 9 year old boy (on a baseball team his son played against) who was killed yesterday in a fluke accident in the school cafeteria. He was also an only child. NINE!
Both fluke accidents were random as heck and may never occur again. The point is 3 only children from 3 different families are gone, and three sets of parents are now trying to figure out how to navigate life, without them. I know the journey and I don’t envy any of them. And NONE of them have another child (like me) to help ease the pain.
The “touchy” subject that I want to address is that no one is safe from death. Not a 9 year old, a 15 year old or a 24 year old. Not any of the kids killed in school shootings. Not any of the people killed in Las Vegas while trying to enjoy an out door concert that turned into a violent massacre instantly. NO ONE IS SAFE.
There is great debate about how to resolve the shootings. However we continue to debate the subject blaming guns and saying it’s not guns and while we fight over it, kids continue to die.
I am positive that if I had school age children I would begin talking to them about self-defense, not just at school but all of the time. Any time they enter a building, restaurant, school, any new environment to look around. Find the exits. Come up with a plan. Stay alert. We teach defensive driving to young people and unfortunately we live in a society where we now need to teach defensive tactics for all other situations. This is true for adults as well as children. We all get relaxed and comfortable until something awful happens and then we begin to think of ways that might have been avoided. We need to think first and have some plans.
One morning I walked into the gym and my husband was on an elliptical machine with headphones on and his eyes closed. I suggested his eyes should be open all the time and he should be observant of his surroundings just on the outside chance that something might happen that seemed weird or different.
I think this holds true for females out drinking and getting so smashed that they no longer can take care of themselves. That puts us in a compromising situation that we shouldn’t have to be extra alert about, but we do.
Unfortunately in every situation anymore, public transportation, an elevator, a hotel, a building you are not familiar with, a party, not to mention the many places your children are going without you…in a world where kids and MANY adults live engulfed in their cell phone, we have to teach, learn and practice defensive options constantly.
Kids are subject to danger from strangers and an even bigger issue (which I learned recently from a retired police chief) kids are being molested and raped by family members in environments where they should be safe, but they are NOT.
Kids are not safe, adults are not safe and the unfortunate thing is you can do EVERYTHING RIGHT and still have a horrible accident that no one could have possibly for-seen or predicted.
My point is, be vigilant for SAFETY, 24/7, 365. Don’t relax too much especially when it comes to your kids and their wellbeing. You may have to say no, or insist on things that you think may protect kids or keep them safer. You may have to talk about things you wish you didn’t (at young ages) to help them learn to help themselves.
I want to live in a world where everyone is safe and nothing ugly ever happens. However that isn’t reality and it isn’t the world we live in today.
I hope reading this has given you some things to think about.
Love to all, have a happy and safe week.