Saturday, June 14, 2008

Impatience -- jcarolek

Impatiens are one to the easiest flowers to grow around here. Once planted, they pretty well tend to themselves, with the occasional gift of water from mother nature or the garden hose. And they produce a lovely flower, bright, and cheery. Summertime in my garden abounds with these insignificant little flowers which gather, in true congregational manner, to present an eye-catching effect.... but we aren't there yet, and I am growing impatient!

Another week away from home, on the road for my "real job," has me chomping at the bit to get outside, take on the lawn, the gardens, the "stuff" that goes along with normal living....and yet it is dark outside. My neighbors, though not nearby, are still probably within earshot of a lawn tractor, should I decide 5 AM is an appropriate time to mow the I will refrain from doing so. Instead, I am finishing up the "indoor" stuff that must take place with each return home...but I want to be outside, and I am growing impatient!

Last night I witnessed a nightmare. Truly, for all parties concerned. Yes, the nightmare could have been worse, but it was bad enough. Children playing in the street. The driver of a car slowing to a stop, a typical reaction when coming upon children playing in the street. A little girl, tiny, darts in front of the now almost completely stopped vehicle, and is hit...the child falls directly to the ground. The driver of the vehicle is out of the car in less than two seconds, joining the parents of the little girl as they assess the child's condition. The emergency personnel arrive. Everyone agrees....the driver has no fault, and yet the driver is obviously overwhelmed by the whole incident. The mother of the child insists the driver was going too fast. Any mother whose child is hit by a vehicle is going to believe the vehicle is going too fast. But the vehicle was all but stopped when the child ran out in front of it.....

Why did the child dart out? As the police took the report, the mother explained that she had called to her daughter to tell her to get out of the road....the 4-year-old's reaction was to run directly to her mother...directly in front of a vehicle...a vehicle, she perhaps thought was stopped...but more likely, one that, in her very young perception of her world, she never even considered...just was reacting obediently to her mother's call.

And the child was not injured. And the driver was not cited. And the father of the child consoled the driver, as did all of the emergency teams and the many wasn't the driver's fault. It did not change things...the driver was still obviously forever changed by the experience. And the little girl's mother continued to explain that they were from the country and not used to cars on the roads...and that she knew the kids should not have been playing in the road....but that they had just arrived at their friends' house and they were all preparing to head off together on a vacation...

But none of that changed the fact that a very tiny child was allowed, even encouraged, to use the street as a playground...that the parents who were obviously right there, were not minding the child, but rather, allowing her to tend to herself, while they tended to the vacation planning and such. And, in the blink of an eye, had that driver not been coming to a complete stop when the child darted out, the little girl's life, the lives of her parents, and the life of the driver would have been changed forever.

And as I wait impatiently for the impatiens to fill my garden with color, and as I wait impatiently for the sun to rise and the hour hand on the clock to mark the allowable noise-making time has arrived, I caution myself to not let my impatience with the natural pace of life result in an avoidable accident. And I remind myself that others are preoccupied with the planning of the "fun stuff" and paying less attention to the everyday their children are playing in the roads...

Children are not impatiens...they take more tending than a little water from mother nature, or the occasional squirt from the garden hose. And, unlike impatiens, once something catastrophic happens, they will not just "come back" next year.

And I am reminded of one of my all-time favorite about children, parents, and the road....but the "road" in this case, is the road of life...

"You, who are on the road must have a code that you can live by.
And so become yourself because the past is just a good bye.
Teach your children well, their father's hell did slowly go by,
And feed them on your dreams, the one they fix, the one you'll know by.
Don't you ever ask them why, if they told you, you would cry,
So just look at them and sigh and know they love you.

And you, of the tender years can't know the fears that your elders grew by,
And so please help them with your youth, they seek the truth before they can die.
Teach your parents well, their children's hell will slowly go by,
And feed them on your dreams, the one they fix,the one you'll know by.
Don't you ever ask them why, if they told you, you would cry,
So just look at them and sigh and know they love you."

Please, have a happy and safe day, weekend, summer....

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