#489: Near Tragedy & A Back Yard Flood
Sunday, May 29, 2011
This afternoon was supposed to be a relaxing time of conversation with family and friends followed by a delicious BBQ dinner. It nearly ended with a trip to the hospital.
I was invited to share dinner today with my niece, her husband, her 7-year-old son, her neighbors, their young daughters and my sister. My niece's husband is a magician with BBQ and I looked forward to dinner and catching up with everyone. All went well until after dinner.
While my nephew and his friends played in the back yard some of us watched a movie inside while others were on the back porch talking.
The peace of the afternoon was pierced by a shriek from one of the girls. As a group we all raced for the back porch door expecting to see one of the girls injured. One of them was nearly stabbed.
The kids, against parents' orders, had picked up two pieces of construction rebar with sharp ends that had been staged on the side of a shed and were sword fighting with them. My little nephew had swung his piece of steel at one of the girls, missing but stabbing instead the side of my niece's above-ground pool.
Amid the kids' parents screaming and the kids' crying it was quickly determined no one was hurt. But 5,000 gallons of water gushed out the side of the ruptured pool, quickly flooding the yard and seeping onto the back porch.
Many frantic efforts later, the flood subsided and the cleanup began. The properly chastised young ones howled at having been yelled at, knowing that appropriate punishment would be meted out later. The parents screamed at each other wondering who, if anyone, had been supervising the kids' play.
After my nephew was banished to his room and his friends were sent home with their mother, calm again descended and we realized how easily one of the kids could have had an eye put out, or worse.
I am not and have not been a parent so I do not know what punishment was or will be dished out to the young ones but I have learned over the years that even when they are specifically told not to touch something, they will, and that even at 7 years of age children need to be watched.
If you have young ones, please do not ever let them out of your sight. As is proven time after time it only takes a few seconds for them to wander into a street in front of a car, or drown in a pool or in this case nearly stab another child with a sharpened piece of steel.
All life is precious but perhaps that of a child more so. Wouldn't it be an everlasting, heartrending memory to know that taking eyes off a youngster for only a few seconds resulted in a tragedy?
Fortunately, this time, that didn't happen. But it very easily could have.