Half a Cup of Blues

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Opportunities ...

Things happen and sometimes, if we are paying close enough attention, we are given an opportunity to teach or learn something that might otherwise pass right on by.

I had one of those moments this morning.

One of my goobers was hit by car on his way to school. His school nurse calls me as I am on my way to work this morning and I can literally feel the tension in her voice. She tells me that he was struck by a small truck while on his bike across the street from the high school. She tells me that I should come straight there and pick him up and take him to be seen as well as file a police report. Police report? This was a felony hit-and-run she tells me, with injuries. Okay, you just KNOW that at this point the hair on the back of my neck is standing up. I am on my way!

I get to the school and pick him up. He shows me his left leg and it looks a little bit like raw hamburger meat but, to be honest, I've seen worse. I mean, these are teenage boys! Underneath the road rash I can see some bruising and swelling already beginning so I do think it is the right thing to take him on over to the walk-in clinic to be seen right away. On the way there he tells me what had happened. I have him repeat it a couple of times and I'm asking him some clarifying questions to get a clearer picture.

It appears that my son was riding along the sidewalk and stopped at a driveway where the small truck (driven by an older gentleman) was also stopped. They both motioned for the other one to go ahead, they both declined and again motioned for the other one to go first. What manners, I mean, you really do have to pause and appreciate that for a moment. Anyways, I guess they both decide that they may as well go ahead and go - so they did! The truck and the bike collided at maybe 5 mph but it was enough to send the kid flying out into the street and bend his front tire. He gets up as the man, horrified, jumps out as asks if he's okay. He says he's fine and the man asks him a few more times if he's okay. The boy instists that he is okay and then proceeds to walk his bike across the street towards his high school. Now this is a rather large and busy road so as the boy gets to the other side of the road he looks over his shoulder and sees the man get in his truck and drive away. This is also what he told the school nurse.

The doctor goes through the same questioning that I had and he's taking copious notes. The leg does not appear to be broken (we'll go back and xray in two days if it is still hurting) but he does have an abrasion and contusion (fancy words for scrape and bruise). As we're waiting for the doctor to write out the instructions for us I tell my son that he's to go back and check in with his nurse and explain to her that we were NOT filing a police report and that I did not consider this to be a hit-and-run at all. I believe that this man did, in fact, try to talk to my son and that when my son walked across the large street he (the boy) gave every indication that he was just shrugging it off and going on to the school and that I believe it would be wrong to pursue this man and potentially wreck his life by filing a report that might lead to charges when there really was no malicious wrongdoing or intentional evading of responsibility. Our family does not race to a lawyer and try to get something, we do not seek damages where none are due, and we treat people as we would like to be treated. The doctor, who had been listening through all of this, also gave the boy a little pep talk about what is to be a good citizen and do the "right" thing.

So, in the end, I was an hour late for work, my son is bruised and sore and sent on his way back to school (much to his chagrin) and a great opportunity for a mini-values lesson in life was seized and utilized. Not a bad day at all.

Today's Plan: Continue to be vigilant for those little opportunities for big growth.


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