I have seen terrible things.
Horrible scenes of carnage and mayhem. Broken bodies scattered on the landscape. Wonderful joyous days instantly transformed into nightmares of pain and grief. Who can make sense of it? It’s never easy when the victims are so young and fragile. We look on and shake our heads and wonder, why did this have to happen?
I am writing about the Bethlehem Town Park sledding hill.
For some reason, the children of my proud community have never been taught rule one of sledding: walk up the side, not the middle.
Not that this isn’t entertaining to watch. Being struck by a sled tends to produce spectacular head-over-keister tumbles worthy of an NFL Films Moment of Impact DVD. Imagine Brandon Jacobs slamming into your six-year-old. But if it’s your kid it’s not so entertaining. And if your child caused the damage, suddenly you’re not thinking, “Wow!” You’re thinking, “Lawsuit.”
One time I saw two kids walking side by side up the middle of the hill carrying a toboggan. Suddenly, a young child headed right for them. His parents started shouting out: “Duck! Duck!” He looked around, maybe trying to see the duck they were yelling about, and turned his head back just in time to catch the toboggan square in the forehead. I have supplied this diagram to help you better understand the incident.
I implore parents everywher -especially now during this holiday season- to take your children by the hand and tell them this: walk up the side of the hill. Not the middle.