I’m a state trooper, a certified child passenger safety technician and a father of four kids under the age of 11, so I understand the importance of safety seats. I’ll never forget the day in March 2014, when I saw for myself just how important they are. I was volunteering at a car seat inspection at the Fabius-Park Township fire department, just outside of Three Rivers, Mich. The forecast that day was for rain and snow. Ice had already started covering the roads.
My son, Murphy, is passionate about playing football. Along with that passion comes bumps, bruises, and a fair share of helmet clashing. The physical intensity and risk of injury rises each year as he ages, and his practice schedule is a grueling 6-8 hour-per-week regimen. Murphy managed to play relatively injury free until well into his third year in 2012.
Change every diaper. That’s my first piece of advice for one of my best friends, Muppus, who just had a healthy baby boy. (We call him Muppus because that was the name of his band in high school.) I’ve benefited from the advice of Muppus on so many extremely important things – like how to build the perfect fort — so I thought sharing all the things I learned as a parent of two boys might be a nice way to pay him back.
In May 2013, my eleven year-old son Giovanni was pitching for his little league baseball team in Staten Island, New York. It was the bottom of the fifth inning. He had already struck out two batters and the third batter, about a foot taller than my son, was on deck. Giovanni’s first pitch went right down the middle of the plate. The batter swung and hit, and the ball hit my son in the face.
Yesterday began, as it does for so many of us college students, with a cup of coffee and a click of the seatbelt. But after a typical work day, things took a pretty abrupt turn when I got into a car crash on my way home.
Sixteen years old. The age that came with the one little piece of plastic I’d been waiting for since my first toy car. I took the class, passed the test, waited in the line, and after what seemed like forever, the women sitting in the small cubicle at the DMV handed it to me: my driver’s license.
Yes, my parents actually let me marry the guy who burned me. We were in high school and my future husband, John (the sweet guy he is), was cooking fried okra. The oil in the pan became too hot too fast. It went up in flames in a matter of seconds. I was standing back against the wall and could not get out of harm’s way quick enough. My right foot and leg caught on fire.
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