Wednesday, March 18, 2009


When I was taking flight lessons in the mid 1960s, one mantra of my instructor was to "See and be seen." I passed that on to my three sons as they were growing up.
It was not enough for them, when travelling along the highway by foot, bike or car, to expect everyone ELSE to look out for THEM. They should be sure they were clearly visible and they should be aware of traffic too; it was as much a part of their responsiblity as it was for "the other guy."
One argument over that arose over my rule that, when riding their bicycles along our hilly, curvy Concord Township highways, they must attach tall bicycle safety flags to their bikes. Oh, that was TOO uncool. But I never wavered.
I remember a tragedy from my youth, when an aunt was run over and killed as she dashed across the street to enter a church on a rainy day. Her husband and children grieved; we grieved; and the man who hit her grieved. He was not charged; he could not have avoided her: but he seemed to charge HIMSELF. He never ever got over it; it all but ruined his life.
I recall as well, on a winter evening years ago, my husband coming home during a snow storm. His face was ashen, and I thought he was ill. He explained he had come over the crest of a steep hill, and suddenly before him loomed a group of teens, locked arm in arm, clear across a thoroughfare. He was able to stop in time--but barely--on the snow-covered highway. It was a close call, but the kids thought it was funny.
He was mad at those wreckless teens, but just as shaken at the close call. "I thought I was going to hit them all," he told me. "That would have been horrible; I can't bear the thought of it, no matter whose fault."
Teach your youngsters well, and follow the rule yourself: See and BE seen.