When Polimom was young, the block on which I lived had three girls. We ranged in age from 12-15, and we “hung out” together all the time in each other’s front yards — talking, laughing, and dreaming. We were just kids, anxious to grow up and “start” our lives.
One evening, a friend of one of the girls came by in his father’s pickup truck while we were sitting outside. He’d just started learning to drive, and he thought it would be a lot of fun to teach one of our little group to drive… and sure enough, he had a taker.
This boy and my friend — with her in the driver’s seat — drove slowly down the block away from us and turned the corner… and we waited.
They came around the block once, at a more normal rate of speed, waving and laughing as they passed us where we sat in the grass.
They got to the corner for the second time, and my friend floored it. We spent the next few minutes listening to their tires squealing and screeching as they fishtailed around corners, zooming through the quiet neighborhood… and then we didn’t hear them anymore.
Time passed, and we heard another car travelling up the cross-street at a high rate of speed…. and as it passed at the corner, we stared at one another in shock. It was that boy’s father, driving in the direction our friend had last headed. We ran to the corner and up the street, but we hadn’t gone more than three blocks before we found the truck — or rather, the back end of it. The front end wasn’t visible, because it had intruded into someone’s house.
They survived, as did the folks inside (they were thankfully in another room when the truck blew through the wall), but Polimom never ever forgot that night.
Flash forward thirty years:
When Adorable Child (AC) was six, she started wanting to sit on Polimom’s lap in the car. Safely parked in the driveway, AC would ask questions about the gadgets and knobs, push buttons, and pretend to steer us to fantastic destinations.
At eight, she pressed to be able to drive (still on Polimom’s lap) the short, straight distance of our street. (We have had numerous verbal battles about this.)
Now, just a few days shy of ten, AC is almost tall enough to reach the pedals, and I’m worried…. because AC is independent, creative, and sometimes a bit too impulsive. Could this be her someday? (from the Houston Chronicle)
As word of the fatal late-night car wreck spread through their Spring neighborhood Thursday afternoon, three middle school boys collected nails and pieces of weather-worn two-by-fours and hammered together a cross.
Down the spine of it they wrote “Justin,” for Justin Dieckman, a 12-year-old football player who police say took his father’s truck in the wee hours Thursday, picked up some friends and crashed into a neighbor’s oak tree.
Officers believe Dieckman snuck out of his parents’ house sometime late Wednesday night or early Thursday morning, and picked up his friends for a ride. The three boys were up front and the girls in the back of the extended-cab truck, police said.
What a heartbreaking tragedy. The children in that truck ranged in age from 11 to 13 — no doubt impulsive, and full of that incredibly dangerous perception of invincibility.
They sound like you, AC.
Please think, precious baby of mine. This is not a lesson to learn the hard way… and I don’t ever want to lose you.
— This entry was dated to post while Polimom’s on vacation, to be shared with AC someday soon…