I am so pissed off right now and I wish to God I had a dash cam.
Yesterday was a beautiful day and, evidently, a great day for a jog. Thankfully, I know to drive at a moderate speed on the winding country roads near my home. The same roads that have NO shoulders and no room for error when you come upon a bicyclist or neighbor out for a stroll. I think there are much better places to enjoy the great outdoors than on the side of a narrow path-like roadway. The need to dodge oncoming cars and the possibility of being launched into the rhubarb off the bumper of an SUV sucks the charm right out of the experience for me.
So, around a blind corner I come and there to my right is a svelte young woman pushing a jogging stroller. My immediate reaction is the same as always, mumbling to myself about the fine line between compulsion and stupidity. But my focus moves from the mother’s face to the child in the stroller, and my heart breaks.
The young boy sees my car and claps both his hands over his eyes, his lips pursed together, as he braces and waits to die.
I’ve never seen its like before. And it sickened me. I was this close to stopping the car and giving the woman a piece of my mind. THISCLOSE. But I didn’t, because I do not relish the thought of being arrested for verbally accosting a moron. What I need is someone to explain to me why it is that so many folks have taken leave of their senses. That child is going to have some sort of mental memory of that experience and you can’t tell me he won’t.
I went through a glass door when I was five years old. That was almost fifty years ago. What I remember is blood and glass and screaming. We lived in the Bronx, on Baychester Avenue. A neighbor jumped over the front fence to get to me and I can still see the white socks he had on. No shoes. He ran into the glass and blood in his pure white stocking feet. He and the others huddled me into a car and drove me to the hospital where I was stitched up in a torturous manner, a cast put on my arm to keep me from pulling everything out as I healed.
The point I’m making is this: it happened when I was FIVE YEARS OLD. I am almost fifty five yet I remember it as if it were yesterday. How many times has that mom pushed her little boy up that road, using him as a buffer between her and oncoming traffic? How will it affect him in the long run? I am a grown woman who still puts my hands out when I get near a glass door or window. I’m the one hanging something on the sliders so nobody will walk into them. I was permanently affected. Will he also be? In my opinion, he will. The only question is, how.
My fall was my own fault. I tripped on the weather stripping as I skipped down the hall in my apartment building. My mother walked a few feet behind me, yet could do nothing to stop what happened. They tell me she was so distraught she couldn’t even speak.
My heart breaks for that little boy. I get that jogging is a healthy form of exercise for some people. But all I can think of is the selfishness of that mother and the psychological trauma she is visiting upon her child in order to enjoy her sport. Seriously, is the endorphin rush worth the risk? I don’t think it is. Use the brain you were born with.
For pity’s sake, buy a damned treadmill.