Monday, August 25, 2014

Dear Mother Who Left Your Kids in the Car

     It's in the news, on Facebook. printed in the paper, splashed across road signs and on the lips of people everywhere- deaths due to being left in a hot car. While it grieves me to hear or read of these terrible tragedies, I must admit a piece of me dies every time I walk through a parking lot only to see children sitting in a car- alone, unattended.
      Why? Are we that immersed in convenience we can no longer tolerate unbuckling the seat belt and taking the child with us? But an older sibling is with them. Yes, I have seen 7 year olds left 'in charge' of infants.. in a car.. in a parking lot. Is that really better? I left the car running. While the car is not 'hot' it is still unattended. They were fine- you just don't understand. You are right- I don't. As a parent we are given the responsibility to train up a child- how are we doing that by leaving them in the car when we pick up groceries, or a prescription (they have a drive through), or grabbing a cold drink at the station (again, go to a drive through?).
        Lest I sound as if I am passing judgment, let me say I am concerned.. confused.. and grieved by this recurring phenomenon and greatly perplexed as to what our responsibility or response should be. Yes, we could phone the police of the endangerment launching a possible CPS investigation and destroying a family. We could wait, confronting the responsible adult when they return to the vehicle which could provoke a nasty situation for both of us. We could walk away allowing the issue to be someone else's problem or the consequences to play out on their own. None of these options seem satisfactory.
         No, nothing has been solved here. No great solution found, though the news daily reports of gadgets and gizmos aimed at preventing such occurrences. They seem no more likely to improve the problem. Solution was not the point.. provoking thought was. So...
          Dear mother who left your kids in the car, I do not know your situation or the circumstances your find yourself in today. I do, however, urge you to think about the choice you are about to make.. the risk you are taking.. the dangerous position you may be putting your family in. I pray for you and I pray for your child/children... and I will sit quietly in my car, praying for you, until I see you return to them.. because I can't, in good conscience, drive away until then.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Happening all the time in my area, too. Thanks for the post.