January 20, 2011


On this day last year, life was normal for some friends of mine. They had a gorgeous, blonde almost-5-year-old daughter who loved to laugh and sing and play with her equally gorgeous blonde just-turned-3 brother. It was a typical winter day in Colorado.

It was cold. There was some residue of a snowstorm on the ground. The sky was most likely some shade of blue with some clouds there somewhere.

It would have been a Wednesday, and they would have just come home from their Wednesday morning Bible Study group.

They had lunch, naps, dinner, played, bath, watched a musical, and went to bed.

Thursday would dawn, as it always does. They would breakfast and go to the Church's Moms' group and the kids would play, and we'd have fun, eating, fellowshipping, enjoying being fed spiritually and physically.

They'd have lunch, and their kids would go down for naps. Only one of them would come back down stairs from their nap.

Their precious little boy, only a few months younger than my own Captain Chaos, would, at some point, during nap time, get out of his bed, and somehow, some way, get tangled up in the cord of his window blinds and eventually strangle to death.

It breaks my heart. I am still sitting here, 364 days later, wondering why a family such as theirs would be visited by such tragedy. I sit and watch how Capt has changed and developed and grown over the last year and cannot help but wonder what this precious little boy would be like now, one year older, one year later...

I need to explain something. His mother and father are the safest people you'll ever meet. From the time they found they were expecting their daughter, they began child-proofing their home - outlet covers, door locks, softening corners of furniture that they couldn't afford to replace, checking smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, baby gates, the special attachment on toilet seats to keep kids out, and later, to keep from fingers getting pinched. All the toys were age appropriate and checked each and every day for loose or missing parts that could cause problems for their children.

They were rarely left unattended during waking hours, watched over in that parental way to insure no one would choke or get sat upon, or squashed, or hurt.

Their rooms were safe with appropriate bed covers, appropriate sized clothing and flame resistant material in their PJs. No floppy squishy pillows, no large heavy blankets. Bed rails to keep them from hurting themselves when they fell out as they were transitioning to "real" beds. Helmets on bikes, the appropriate car seat, seat belts, testing bath water, food temperature.

Not that their family is phobic about things, but my friend is an advocate for child safety, pushing for our local Churches to do background checks on their child-care workers, making sure that medication and chemicals are out of reach. Pushing for disinfecting of toys and beds in common areas such as Church nurseries and day care centers...

You can imagine how horrible this is (maybe you can't...maybe you have to live something like this) to go through.

It was awful. The news stories played it over and over and over again. The edited photo of emergency responders, the questions, the wondering, the speculation of "neglect"...the disbelief in people's voices when they speak of it, even now, a year later, wondering if somehow, something could have been done to keep it from happening.

And so, as I sit and watch my precious children playing together, I try not to panic each and every time I put them in their beds, in their rooms, the windows of which have blinds with cords.

We've priced and looked and priced and the only window coverings rated as "safe" would cost us over $1000 to purchase.

It makes me angry that there have been so many deaths related to things such as this and yet, no one is pushing to take items like this off the market.

Please, please, please - add things like this to your list of child-proofing. Make sure you keep your children safe.

And please, say a prayer for Daniel's family as tomorrow is the anniversary of his going Home. Pray for their hearts, their marriage, their daughter, and for the wonderful blessing of a new little one to arrive later this year. Pray for their hearts to be shielded to the unintentional hurts of well-meaning people and the things they say.

1 comment:

Penny said...

as a grandma, who when her kids were small didnt have blinds..I just never thought of this! but I am now! thanks for the info..we have 2 grandkids coming today to spend the night..I will make sure the room they are in will have the cord put up high..so sad about your friend..sometimes Satan takes what is so simple and makes it a terrible thing..I will pray for your friends...and fix my window blinds..