1) Small Children Should Never See Their Parents Backs. (True Story)
2) A Riveting Tale (coming soon)
I arose from my easy chair to take a gander out the window to see what I’d seen the last hundred times I’d looked that day. Outside, the sun shined bright and the humidity wrapped itself around you as if it were a winter coat. I had noticed some small children playing in the side yard of a home near mine. They were running around chasing each other, jumping from atop an old toy that I couldn’t quite make out what it was, climbing trees as high as they could without climbing gear, and fighting imaginary demons with small tree branch swords. The parents, I presumed, gathered under their protective two-story wooden shell, behind closed doors, where a single window A/C unit worked overtime.
My attention gravitated toward the west side of the home. My eyes passed a single child standing on the sidewalk at the corner slab, and then onto a small silver car lazily parked on the grass under a tall Oak; the shade from the Oak covered the car and the side of the home. The driver’s side, rear passenger door was held locked in an open position as legs dangled half out. The person, whom the legs belonged, engulfed him or herself in conversation with the driver and another passenger-sitting shotgun.
My eyes were suddenly brought back to the young child whom they had passed on the way over to the automobile. The small child; no more than five, six, or even maybe seven years of age, wore shorts that extended past his knees, and a long T-shirt that almost reached the same length. He was on the slightly heavier side for a youngster of that age, but as with any young child, it was obvious he wasn’t ashamed of it. It looked as if he were fascinated with all the traffic on the very busy street before him. I watched in concern. That was definitely no place for small children to be standing by themselves. I waited for an adult from the silver car to pull him from the corner where he looked as if he felt invincible; nothing.
The boy inched his way farther and farther off the sidewalk and into the street to get an even closer look at the massive machines rolling passed him. The never-ending flow of cars, motorcycles, trucks, and semi-tractors with trailers traveled at speeds of twice, and even three times the posted speed limit of twenty-five miles-per-hour. This did not deter the young and naive. The motorist could only assume the child was waiting his turn to cross to the other side, but if they only knew what was to come they would have slowed to a crawl in anticipation of the boys intentions. This small-unattended child was either incredibly amazed by the amount of traffic, or the speed at which the traffic flowed passed him, or… he was simply tempting fate.
After stepping a foot or so into the street, what I like to call ‘Liberty raceway’, the youngster took off back toward the house, and between two of the many rotating vehicles that occupied the driveway day and night. I was relieved to see that the child made the smart decision in his curious mind, to choose life over possible death.
I felt the rush of certain injury leave my body after the little guy run away from the highway-like traffic. It all had happened in a matter of a few seconds. My dry mouth needed a well-deserved drink of water after that. I walked to the kitchen and retrieved a bottle of water from a newer version of the coolerator. The cool air from the refrigerator was a relief across my body, as it tends to heat up a bit from adrenaline flow. After a long swig of the clear liquid, I returned the bottle back to the door shelf. Out of curiosity, I glanced out the kitchen window and vetted the situation once more, just to assure that the young tyke had stayed away from the edge of what could have been certain death. To my surprise, the small child had not had enough of tempting fate. He had returned to the roadside, but in a different location, and was leaning in as if he were waiting for the perfect moment to test his distance again.
I hurriedly walked to my original location at the front door, and began to assess the situation. However, by the time I reached the doorway, the small child had gained more confidence and had moved completely into the street. In a matter of seconds, I watched as he sidestepped his way into oncoming traffic as if he were entering into a dual. His knees bent, his feet spread, and his arms out to his sides. He was only missing the cowboy garb and pistols. There was no fear in his mind at this point. With traffic still at full potential and high speeds, this was sure to be an ugly, ugly turn of events. There was no chance of me reaching that child before something tragic would happen. I could only hope that the oncoming traffic was aware of an object in its path.
I noticed a small black all-road type vehicle approaching at what seemed like the speed limit, bearing down on the small child. I didn’t have time to cross my fingers and hope that the person inside the car had the child in their sight. The small boy stood steadfast. I could only assume the expression on his tiny face. It certainly could not have been that of fear. The opposite lane commuters continued at full speed as the child had blocked the path of oncoming traffic. I quickly asked myself if I were able to handle witnessing a horrible incident if something were to happen, but I didn’t have a choice, it all was happening so fast.
To my surprise and hopefully the surprise of the young boy, the person in the black vehicle had seen the youngster, and was able to stop in time; not more than twenty-feet or so before him. The small child and the driver froze; locked in to a stare down. It felt as if time stopped or moved in slow motion. What seemed like a very long time actually was only about ten seconds or so. He just stood there, temping the driver. I could only speculate at what was going through each of their minds during that time.
For this day, this little boy, this small innocent child, had tempted fate and had won. The parents of that lucky child had not had the slightest clue that their son’s favorite dinner last night, the story at bedtime, the hug and kiss goodnight, and the breakfast that following morning, could had been their last… together.
That little boy ran to the side yard after the blare of the car horn. The people in the small silver car relaxing under that big Oak… never moved a muscle. After the horn blast and the child ran to the side yard, an adult from within the house; not the child’s parent, stepped out of the house door and raised a hand to his friends in the silver car, thinking the horn blow was from them, and then he disappeared back into the house. Not having a clue of what had just transpired.
If you take anything away from this short story, let it be this: do not take your children for granted. Never Turn Your Back on Your Children.