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Car Accident - Franklin Ave & Old Airport Rd
Image by KyleWiTh via Flickr

We’re all a little paranoid when it comes to our children. Not to trivialize it, but worrying about an infant or toddler as a new parent is nothing compared to worrying over an actual, thinking breathing and (often) disagreeing and disobeying child or teenager. Justifiably new parents are worried that their baby is being held properly, being fed properly and the like. I, myself remember the frequent crazed calls to the pediatrician’s office because a cough developed or the baby “just didn’t look right” or “wasn’t acting himself”. We have all done it and undoubtedly new parents will continue to do it.

However, what is even scarier to me (maybe just because it’s that stage in my life) is worrying about my children now. They are all teenagers, one has a permit and all tend to want to go places and do things without us (probably more than they want to go places and do things with us). I can no longer hold their hand when they cross a street or make sure that they don’t drive in a car without a seatbelt. I can only hope that they know enough to make wise decisions and know that no matter what, they can call us anytime, from anywhere.  I cannot watch them every minute of every day and more importantly I cannot control their friends and acquaintances or the circumstances in which they may find themselves when I am not around.

According to NPR’s recent report based upon a study conducted by author Christine Barnes (“The Paranoid Parents Guide”) parents’ top five worries concerning their children are:

  1. Kidnapping
  2. School snipers
  3. Terrorists
  4. Dangerous strangers
  5. Drugs

According to facts however, the top five ways that a child can get hurt veer pretty far from our collective parental anxieties. They are:

  1. Car accidents
  2. Homicide
  3. Abuse
  4. Suicide
  5. Drowning

I don’t know where you personally stand in comparison to the list, but fear of car accidents is definitely up there in my top 5. Far too frequently, especially here in Vermont, we hear about tragic accidents claiming children or teenagers just about the same ages as my boys. It’s scary. Even if they are doing everything right, now you have to worry about other people on the road. Many of my boys’ friends and their friends siblings drive or have their permits or will be driving soon. There will be times, more often than not, in the coming months and years when they will be in a vehicle by themselves or with a friend or sibling. We have a rule in our house that no one (and I mean no one) rides in a vehicle with a person who is not a parent (figuring that eliminates the older sibling or older sibling’s friends issue). Accidents happen, that is why they are called accidents, but I pray that they don’t involve my children or anyone else’s and that they are minor and inconsequential.

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We were driving in Burlington yesterday and this caught our eye. A car with its own rooftop garden. As we were stopped at a light, I looked over and yes, the car had tomatoes growing on its roof. Pretty ingenious idea to take your garden with you. Imagine the possibilities for time management – stuck at a railroad crossing waiting for a train or waiting at school for an overdue kid – weed the garden, pick tonight’s salad, thin those seedlings.

It wasn’t some gimmick car advertising something either – just someone who evidently felt the need to take their tomatoes for a ride.

The possibilities are endless.

Yesterday we took two cars and 8 kids to Albany for the day to see a Trans Siberian Orchestra concert. The kids ranged in age from my youngest 12 to 15. A couple had been to a concert before, most hadn’t, including my own boys. Tom and I hadn’t been to a concert in a while and even though the weather didn’t sound like it was going to be in our favor, we were looking forward to it.

After seeing the concert which lasted 2 1/2 hours (and Tom thought that they were joking when they said they were at the half-way point) I can understand why the comments of so many people when reading about TSO were that it just wouldn’t be Christmas without seeing them. The first half of the concert was the Christmas portion and if it didn’t put you into a rocking holiday mood, then you must be dead. The second half was the non-holiday portion, just as entertaining to us, but the kids liked it more, since it was more of the “rock and roll” portion of the show. Either way, you sat there amazed. There were lasers, flash pots, an amazing light show, snow, fireworks, flames and musicians playing about 25 feet in the air on a lifting stage. Oh, and don’t forget the dry ice and smoke, which creeped across the stage on a fairly regular basis throughout the entire performance. For the kids, who had never seen a concert, aside from a Pink Floyd show, I don’t think that they will be as amazed at another show. Asked what he thought upon exiting the performance, my oldest son summed it up in one word “Epic”. Yes, it definitely was. Throw that together with a teenager’s favorite thing in mass – the mall and they were a happy bunch.

Luckily, the weather wasn’t as bad as it was supposed to be and although around Albany was slippery, we didn’t hit slippery roads again until we were in our own town, dropping everyone off for the night. For having 8 kids along all day I have to say it wasn’t bad, in my head it could have been so much worse. Everyone was well behaved, and seemed to have a great time.  A long day, but a good day and an epic concert. It was all good.

Evilwife on the move

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There have to be 5 things even on a really bad day.

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