When I heard the car hit my 5-year-old, I knew it was bad. Two days earlier I was there, at Sechelt Hospital in 1983, when the youngest was born. What a great experience. Today it is his birthday. Congratulation – Happy Birthday.
The older, five years older, was playing around the yard with a friend. They had bikes, and made new trails everywhere. At the entrance to the driveway they found a big jump, over the root of a large tree, and with good speed, they landed on Mission Road.
I did not see this activity, I only heard the hit. No mistake, a soft small body hit by a car. I ran up to the scene, and the older one was on the asphalt, the bike a wreck, the car standing still, the driver was the local public nurse. She had slow speed, but no way to see the kid coming out of nowhere. I lifted him up, one leg broken on several places, I could feel the bones, and later see them.
I carried him on my lap and sat into the passenger seat of the car, and she drove back to the hospital. The five minutes took a long time. The family doctor was there, a couple of days earlier he had delivered the youngest. He set the leg perfect, the kid was remarkable not injured elsewhere, he had no helmet, and only scratches here and there. He was thrown about 20 or more feet in the air.
Now I had to tell his mother, at the same hospital with a new-born. I never know if she blamed me for not looking after them properly, but I had that feeling. Kids must be allowed to play, climb, cycle, ride horses, swim; and do all the things one can do for fun. It is our job to get them to wear helmets, and teach them the dangers.
I learned the hard way when I grew up. Once I dived, the older boys dared me to do it, or I was shoving off for the girls; from a rock, not that high, but the water was shallow, I bled severely from my head, crying all the way home to mom. Once I was Tarzan, jumping from a bridge support, grabbing the soft trees, using them to land on the ground. Great fun, until one snapped off, and when I got to, a few hours later, I crawled home to mom, crying, with broken ribs. Falling through the thin ice, playing at a local lake, frozen stiff by the time I got home, too cold to cry. Playing at a bon fire, with rubber booths, the one melted and my mother had to rip it off my foot, with a large pice of skin following, I still show it off as a war wound. I was lucky, the first generation not in war, but in ’66 I would have ended up in Vietnam if I had chosen USA, I was offered greencard, I had served in The Norwegian Kings Guard the year before, and was already trained on US military equipment. I liked Canada better, lucky me.