Monday night I brought KC and Lissa to the dance school as usual. There is a class of really little kids that dance right before KC has his jazz class. The class came out and the mothers gathered their chicks (literally, these kids are chicks in the upcoming recital) One mom has a little girl who dances in that class and 2 other children with her, a young boy and an older girl. Her oldest, probably around 9 or so, is autistic and she and I had talked a few weeks ago about the difficulties in obtaining services and how proud we were of various achievements our kids had done.
Tragedy struck as this family left the dance studio. S, much like my Chet, often wears headphones to diminish the hubub of sensory noise in the world around here. Sadly on Monday this meant she did not hear her mom calling her and she ran out into traffic and was hit by a car in front of the studio. She will be all right, though she was quite badly hurt. Ambulances arrived, the police cordoned off almost the entire street as they sorted out what happened, and rides were arranged to get the two younger sibs home while Mom rode in the ambulance. It was very hard to tell at the time how bad things were, but it certainly did not look good.
I sort of freaked out inside because i know that mom and she is a good parent. I have also walked her shoes, trying to help my autistic son have safety awareness. Chet was oblivious to traffic and i have had many close calls with him. I have been lucky. This mom wasn't.
For KC and his class, the accident seemed to have the most impact. The younger kids just knew they were hanging longer at the school. (none of us could move our cars while the accident reconstruction went on.) But KC and his group are between 9 and 11 years old. They are at the age where mortality is known to them and death is suddenly both real and scary. They were very much impacted.
After class, I walked one of KC's friends down past the cordon to her mom. I hadn't been able to reach her by phone and as she drops D off, I knew she would freak when she turned onto the street and saw all the flashing blue lights. She did but saw D and KC and i walking towards her so all was well. However we walked past the bloody street and that unnerved all of us a bit.
KC had a hard time processing and judging by the phone calls flying to and from his friends, I think the rest of the class did as well. KC decided that he wanted to do something for S, the girl who was struck. I have chatted with her mom and found she loves art so this is going to be an easy friendship care basket for KC to create. From one artist to another! It will be good for S to have something as she recovers. She is hopefully going to be discharged from the hospital by Friday at the latest but the healing will take some time. It will be good for KC to do this,not just because i want my kids to be compassionate, but because it will help him as well. In my experience, doing something always helps. There is less feeling of swirling about in a tide of chaos or fear if you can do something, even something small.
So Saturday we will shop for a small basket of fun and easy art supplies. And we will all heal a bit together.