It’s Thanksgiving Day. My swimming pool is closed. My daily exercise will be walking in the neighborhood park with the usual stop to buy lottery tickets. The new numbers look at lot better than the old ones. The odds of winning??? — Not so much!
As I arrive at the park, I rest at a picnic table under the patio shelter in the middle of the kids’ playground.
In front of me now, is a young athletic looking young man in running gear with two kids, about ages 3 and 6. The 3 of them go about setting up the kids’ toys and snacks.
I start my next lap.
As I arrive back at the shelter, there are the 2 kids, unattended, playing on one of the large granite boulders .As I get rested for my next lap, the dad, the runner, comes running past me and continues on for another lap, leaving the two kids by themselves.
As I contemplate the possible consequences of the danger that this dad has put his children into, my stomach gets a little queasy. I know I must say something. I fear “Dad’s” response. I fear for the safety of these 2 beautiful kids. Do I have the spine to intervene? And, what should it be? As these thoughts are bouncing around in my brain, Dad comes around again.
I stand up and approach him.
“Excuse me, sir? Do you have a minute?”
“Sure”, he replied.
I don’t recall my exact words, but I made it clear that leaving 2 little kids without an adult could have tragic results. He was cordial in his reaction, but gave no indication that he would correct the problem. He was just cordially ignoring an old guy without being confrontational. He went back to his kids.
I began another lap.
About 50 yards and one minute later, Dad comes running past me.
I did an immediate about face to check on the kids. As I approached the shelter; “Dad” is finishing his lap with the kids running to greet him.
Like the “Mom” who leaves the engine running and her baby in the car seat while she runs into the store for just a minute. Or the self-assured young man who believes he’s too healthy to get Covid so to hell with the vaccine, the runner — Dad—- has the odds in his favor.
In the future, I’ll mind my own business and hope the odds keep the children safe.
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