Witnessing a Mother's Fear
There were a few frantic moments at a family get-together I attended last summer.
A 15-year-old relative, who is autistic and unable to speak, disappeared from one minute to the next.
His mother – my cousin – was frantic. All the party guests were enlisted to find out whether the 15-year-old was still in the house or whether he'd wandered up the street toward the school or behind the house and into the marsh that backs onto Lake Ontario.
Fortunately, the 15-year-old was located in a matter of minutes. He was in the basement, searching for a set of DVDs he'd spotted on a previous visit.
My cousin was so relieved that she started to cry.
Today, as the story of another family and their son makes news across the country, I'm reminded what it was like to witness my cousin's fear – the fear that she lives with from day-to-day.
It's easy to overlook the role that luck plays when kids manage to stay safe for another day.
If it were all about good parenting, keeping kids safe would be so much easier.