So a couple of recent incidents have me a tad worried. Just over a week ago, the Beans piled into the car and went to the Dead Sea (Al Wadi, our last trip there… more on that later if I can get past my annoyance to post about the sad deterioration of this once excellent facility). During our visit there, we had a lot of fun. The Beans are getting better at swimming but still not at a point that they can swim by themselves. At one pont during the day, JujuBean asked me to sit with her in the jacuzzi (no worries, it’s really just cold bubbly water). As we were sitting up above the wave pool, I noticed the lifeguard poised to dive into the water. Given the limited depth of the water and the posted No Diving signs, I was a bit confused. JujuBean immediately noticed and pointed out the lifeguard as well. She was wondering why he was ready to dive into a No Diving area. I scanned the pool and realized just as he dove in that there was a young boy (10 or so years old) floating about a foot below the surface of the water. He wasn’t struggling or surfacing, just floating.
In one of those made-for-TV moves, the lifeguard executed a fabulous dive, grabbed the boy, surfaced and did the lifesaving tow to the shallow end. About half-way there, the boy’s mother saw that the lifeguard was pulling her son from the water. I ask you to close your eyes (after reading this of course) and imagine her reaction with me as I experienced it. The mother threw her hands into the air LAUGHING uproariously. Seriously, she thought it was funny. She was surrounded by a couple of her other kids and showed no concern whatsoever that her son was being towed out of the water. The father, who was in the shallower water with the younger kids saw the lifeguard coming toward him, realized what was happening and dashed over to help. The lifeguard, upon reaching the shallow water, flipped the boy to ensure that he was breathing properly and that he was OK. At no point in this incident did the mom stop laughing. Apparently, she thought this was just the most funny thing she’d ever seen. Call me crazy, but my child nearly drowning would not tickle my funny bone. At all. Ever.
Yesterday 3ammoBean related a similar story from a trip to a local club. On the playground, she observed a young girl and a young boy playing on one of the large two bench swings. He was a bit alarmed at the boy’s behavior pushing harder and faster on the swing making the motions more and more unstable. He was primarily worried for the girl on the opposite seat. He noticed she was having trouble holding on. Suddenly, the young boy decided to push to his most daring feat yet. As he did so, the young girl slipped off of her seat. She slipped down with her legs between the seat and the leg platform. The boy, finally realizing how dangerous his behavior was jumped off and stopped the swing immediately. Had he not, the young girl would now likely be an amputee. While young children often don’t consider the outcome of their actions, the most troubling thing is that mom was nowhere to be seen. The young girl got off the swing (or should I say slithered out of the swing) and was crying and visibly very upset. No worried mom appeared. All was calm in the smoke-filled table area. Apparently no one was watching this girl or this boy play. Again, I may be crazy, but someone should be attending any children on a playground. If mom and dad are at the restaurant, then they need to ensure someone is paying attention to the kids. While I don’t love the maid-is-responsible culture, at least it’s better than no one being responsible. And if mom was sitting there smoking and gabbing with her friends, shame on her.
Somehow, it seems like some people have lost the will or ability to grasp that our children are our most important responsibility. We make choices that affect them. We are accountable for ensuring their safety. If we choose to smoke inside our homes and cars with our children present, we must own responsibility for their increased chances of developing asthma, lung cancer, and allergies. And, frankly, we must accept that when we are old and they are responsible for taking care of us, they very well may repay us by taking just as good care of us as we did them. So, think ladies and gentlemen. Think about how your actions are affecting your children. Think about the lessons you are teaching them. Because taking your responsibilities lightly invites them to do the same. And one day, not too far from now, you may come to regret that choice…
Happy Irresponsibility (for now…)!