Now here’s a story we hear in the news all to often, but this time it has a bit of a surprise ending.
When Deborah Cain saw some boys lying next to a road near Gasquet earlier this year, she asked her son what the kids were doing. Lediah told her it was essentially a game of chicken where kids pretend to be dead in the street and panic unsuspecting motorists.
That was the joke, Lediah said. When the motorists stopped to offer aid to the “victim,” he would jump up and run to join his friends who were hiding nearby.
What Cain didn’t realize at the time she heard this was that her son would become a traffic fatality while playing the same game.
Basically, someone dared Lediah to take it a step further and actually lay down in the middle of the traffic lane instead of just by the side of the road and the kid went ahead and did it and, naturally, got hit for real. Normally when we read stories like this the parents end up blaming everyone and everything under the sun for this tragedy other than the kid who was, let’s face it, dumb enough to lay down in the middle of the road. Everything from the kid’s buddies to movie depictions of similar stupid stunts to video games to drugs to the driver of the car involved in the accident are usually the first things the parents point at and blame for what happened. Deborah Cain, however, is rare in that she doesn’t try to throw the blame all over the place.
Cain said she didn’t blame anyone for the accident, and added she didn’t want anyone else to criticize the youths who may have few outlets for entertainment in a small community.
“The boys ֖ they have to live with what they’ve seen and what they’ve experienced,” she said. “Instead of criticizing them, we need to listen to them and what they need for entertainment, whether it’s a park, a skateboard park or something else. And we need to let them know how precious life is.”
That has to be the most sensible response I’ve ever heard a distraught parent give to what is certainly a tragic event. It is such a remarkable occurrence I felt the need to actually talk about it here to help balance out all the stories we hear where the parents go on to blame everyone else for what happened. Here is a woman in mourning over the loss of her son who decided not to compound the damage done by lashing out at others. A highly commendable approach which I hope will catch on.