He took a pounding
Saturday June 02nd 2007, 11:56 am
Filed under: Non-Knitting

Still no pictures, you’re stuck with just the stories for now.

I was reading http://highlytrainedmonkey.blogspot.com/2007/05/car-wrecks.html coming from Emergiblog’s Grand Rounds; the blogger writes of her response to an emergency situation in front of her, and how wonderful to find out, much later, that things had turned out much better than she’d feared. And she wonders at the people who saw and simply drove on by.


California’s Prop 13, years ago, meant that most of the schoolbuses got ditched; there was no longer the funding for them. The end result is that schools that were designed for a line of buses instead have hundreds of parents dealing with getting their kids to and from each school on their own every day (but I digress). There was awhile where I had kids in elementary, middle, and high school, and I was doing the daily mad dash at 3 pm or so collecting them all.

One day for no reason I could have said I turned right rather than left off my street; that’s certainly the long way around, and it made no sense. I briefly debated doing a U-turn, but, eh, it was a beautiful day, and it felt like, well, all the more time to kick back and enjoy the scenery as I go. How about if I cut through the neighborhood to shave off some of that extra time I just piled on with that turn–nahhh, just keep going all the way to the main road.

Which meant that I happened to be coming up the road the middle school was on in the opposite direction from my usual. Which meant that I saw the two boys.

Now, one of them I recognized immediately, though I had no idea what his name was; I’d seen him since kindergarten, and I knew which mom connected with that kid. He was the one spraddled out on the sidewalk. The other on top of him, who knows, but he’d overpowered the first, was astride him on the ground, and had his hands grabbed on the other kid’s head, pounding it hard into the sidewalk.

They were just barely out of sight of the school. And car after car of parents was driving right on past them. I was as stunned at that as I was at the kids’ behavior.

My happy-go-lucky day was abruptly over, and I jerked my car off to the side, on the opposite side of the street from them. (Where, I realized later, I had the power of parental authority and my lack of physical authority wasn’t evident.) I leaped out of my door, unable to reach them for the passing cars, but screamed at the top of my lungs, “STOP THAT!!!”

They both leaped to their feet and away from each other as if they’d both been caught in the act.

“STOP THAT!! AND DON’T YOU *EVER* LET ME CATCH YOU DOING THAT AGAIN!!!” They were already heading for the hills, in opposite directions.

I was so mad. What a stupid, stupid, adolescent-boy act of testosterone poisoning. Didn’t they know the seriousness of it? Hadn’t they ever been around anybody with any kind of head injury? What did they THINK they were doing!!

I stayed thoroughly mad for about an hour. Glad that both boys knew I could identify them from Back To School nights, (glad that neither knew that I had no idea what their names were. Let them stew.)

Gradually, it dawned on me: I had gone the wrong way. I hadn’t cut through the neighborhood. I had just continued down the path that would bring me to that spot at that moment. And someone’s clueless 13-year-old sons grew up–they’d be 23 now–because I did.

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Some people would see that as being in the right spot at the right time. (We shall ignore that today, merely 10 years later, you’d have a flock of parents yelling at YOU for yelling at their kid.)
But what is so wonderful is that you see God’s guiding hand, knowing deep that you were God’s hand picked woman to be there, because only you would have been able to do what you did. (Hang on, must sniffle now.)
I hope that boy grew(grows) up to do something amazing — since it was apparent God’s plan for him didn’t include a massive head injury at age 13.

Comment by Patricia 06.02.07 @ 1:01 pm

I don’t think that only I could or would have done that, by any means; I know others who would have, who also had kids there. But maybe their schedules would have gotten in their way that particular day. Who knows. I’m just glad it worked out.

Comment by AlisonH 06.02.07 @ 1:09 pm

God sure does work in mysterious ways. I don’t believe in coincidence, I believe its God’s will. Sometimes it takes a long long time to piece the puzzle together, but other times (like yours and trainedmonkey)are obvious.

Thank you for being a good samaritan. I would certainly appreciate a parent breaking up a fight that involved my son.

Comment by Amanda 06.02.07 @ 3:38 pm

I’ve long been convinced that we are always where we are supposed to be, when we are supposed to be there. The chain of events that led to meeting my own husband – who lived over 300 miles away from me – is pretty astounding, and too long to share here.

The trick to it all is to go through life with an awareness that lets you spot the opportunities – those reasons why you wound up at that particular place. It may seem like a complete accident that you forgot milk at the supermarket and had to make another trip, for instance – until you bump into an old friend in the dairy section that you haven’t seen in years, and needed to re-connect with.

Your story today is a perfect example. Seemingly random and accidental choices brought you to where you were, and you were present enough in the moment to see the opportunity that you were meant to be there for.

Thanks for sharing this story, and thanks for being an aware and present human being! You make the world a better place. 🙂

Comment by Crafting Jen 06.02.07 @ 6:18 pm

I did something similar. The main difference is I knew all of the boys and where they lived. I saw it all from my computer desk. My own kids playing two house away, heard me yell “leave Chris alone” I was in the front yard a truck stopped when I yelled and the boys scattered.
It is taking a risk, but I have to do somehting. If I don’t, how can I believe that someone would intervene if it was my child.
You very well could have saved a life that day.
Way to be a MOM!

Comment by Sonya 06.02.07 @ 6:48 pm

Thank you for being willing to listen to that little voice (I’ve learned that bad things happen when I don’t listen to mine), and to be willing to stop and do something. I cringe to think of the number of people that day whom God was nudging to do something, who kept driving!

Comment by niki 06.03.07 @ 6:38 am

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