Our state has been rocked this year with everything from a summer full of wildfires, a theater shooting, and recently the abduction and murder of a child. It’s just about all our neighbors can talk about. We discussed everything from how we can’t imagine what the Ridgeway Family is going through, to how we will try to keep our own children safer.
And that’s when it occurred to me, that this tragedy is bringing our community together. I know that is little consolation for the victims, but it is helping me deal with it. People at the park are friendlier and more watchful of each other’s children. There are more parents on the bike path on the way to and from school, which makes all of the children safer. With a 6-year old and a 12-year old, one is off in her own direction, and the furthest our son goes unsupervised is to a friend’s house. The girl has earned some freedom these last couple of years, showing us the responsibility and maturity we’ve instilled in her are sticking. She’s also taking opportunities to babysit for other families, so needs some freedom to get to and from her jobs. Yesterday, I walked her a mere two blocks, because I could, and because she let me. And you know what, two blocks of walking time is a good conversation with my girl, that we otherwise wouldn’t have had.
We live in a pretty idyllic neighborhood, and have designed our lifestyle so that we can spend a lot of time with our children, and as a family.
However, just because the leaves are changing in our neighborhood, like they are in every other neighborhood in the country with deciduous trees, doesn’t mean our children are safe. But, if anything can make our children safer, I am all for it. I can’t imagine what the RidgewayFamily is going through and hope they find peace and solace.