A lesson for all you kids

It’s a debate going on in our house… and houses across the country... and perhaps even around the world.

The trust debate.

The adults...

The kids...

The idea that in some way, because parents are hesitating in granting freedoms and responsibilities, it can, naturally, only be because they don’t trust the child.

Three weeks ago Tigg and I were involved in a situation that only served to prove our point… it really isn’t exclusively because of trust in the child. In fact, in many ways it isn’t the child at all… it’s everyone else.

We had gone to visit a friend of ours, and we had parked our car outside his office. During our visit, a woman came in from the salon next door. She asked if anyone in here owned the car that had just been hit.

Umm... just been hit?

Yup. One of their clients had been backing up her car to leave and struck our car. Put a good size scratch in our rear bumper and rubbed off alot of paint. One of the women in the salon saw it happen, and tried to stop the woman when she just drove off. While she couldn’t get her to stop, she had a more important piece of information. She knew exactly who it was.

The police arrived, wrote out a report, and took a statement.

A pretty open and shut case.

But it gets better…

When we finally got in touch with the woman, she didn’t want to involve our insurance companies. Nothing too strange there. The damage to our car wasn’t excessive… and ended up being below a standard deductible level. And with a police report and witness on our side, we felt we were proceeding on fairly safe ground (and I’ll spoil the suspense here… we were and it was paid for.)

The thing is, Tigg and I had to drive the car to get an estimate. We had to drop it off. And when we did drop it off, the clerk for the repair shop asked if it might be possible for us to pick up the check to pay for it… the woman wasn’t sure if she could get it to them.

Yeah… ok... I give up... when was her hitting our parked car going to be a bit of an inconvenience for her instead of simply a repair bill? She actually had the nerve to ask if this man would inquire as to whether or not we might be willing to drive around the state of Rhode Island as her private delivery service.

As we collected information from talking to the repair shop and our friend (who had been speaking with his neighbors in the salon), it turned out that… of course… (1) The woman admitted to the police officer that she knew she hit our car, didn’t think the damage could possibly be major, and left the scene without reporting it (told our friend that while trying to contact us after hearing from the police). (2) She did have some other recent accidents (her husband told the repair shop clerk this when dropping off the check).

(Deep breath)

A car accident… with us legally parked and not even in the car… involving a woman that knew she hit our car, left the scene without reporting it, and didn’t want her insurance company involved.

Kids… you can be in a car accident without even moving the car. If the woman from the salon hadn’t come over to us, it is incredibly likely that we would have been out a few hundred dollars to repair the car. And it wasn’t our fault. It wasn’t our driving skills (or even lack of skills) that had anything to do with any part of the accident.

Crazy things happen in this world. Crazy beyond paint scraped off a bumper. Crazy to the level of incidents you can’t even consider right now.

They won’t be announced ahead of time.

They won’t come with an invitation.

They won’t be a result of… or be avoided by… any action or training or experience you have.

Some times… it really isn’t about you.

If you have any comments or questions, please e-mail me at Bob@inmybackpack.com