Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Our Guardian Angels Are Working Overtime

When we first moved to this house out in the country, Bryce was ten. That first summer, we went to a neighborhood garage sale in the next town over and happened upon a two-seater go-kart for sale for $350. Knowing we had the perfect scenario for go-kart ownership (a large meadow in front of our house), and having just ripped the boy from the comfort of the only life he'd known, we seized upon the opportunity and bought the darn thing. Although it has provided many an hour of great fun, the thing has been down far more often than it has been working and we have plunked out WAY more than a few hundred dollars to keep it going year after year.

The go-kart runs on a small lawn mower engine (follow this link for a brief video of the go-kart in action and two adorable photos of my younger guys when they were toddlers). Bryce strained the engine and the belts to the breaking point many times by attaching a rope and a sled to drag one of his friends behind the go-kart as they whipped around in circles out on the meadow. One time, he and his friend, Ian, decided to try to mix things up by having Bryce, the passenger, steer while Ian, the driver, pressed on the gas. They ran smack dab into a tree, wrenched the steering wheel right off, and damaged the frame of the go-kart.

I think I had forgotten how reckless Bryce used to be with the go-kart until I reread those earlier posts about his behavior with the go-kart. This summer, my husband had the go-kart repaired yet again so that our younger boys (now 11 and 8) could use it. While Sean is a fairly careful driver, Trevor makes me cringe in concern. It seems like his goal is to get the go-kart to balance on two wheels or something. What he doesn't seem to understand is that going on two wheels leads to real danger. These boys laugh at danger because they have no experience with it.

Sunday evening, I had $10 in Kohl's cash burning a hole in my pocket and the added benefit of a one-day $10 off a $30 purchase offer. Bryce has been needing a new pair of jeans because one of his labs requires they wear jeans with no holes (the trend is to wear those ones with the rips - why people pay big bucks for clothes that look like they've been worn to shreds is fully beyond my realm of understanding). Thus, I left the boys in the front yard, go-karting, with hubby putzing around outside, tending his flowers and such.

When I returned home, all was quiet on the Western front. Trevor was in his room and Sean was in the living room working on homework. As soon as I walked in, though, Sean came running over to tell me that they had an accident with the go-kart. It flipped over while they were riding in it and Trevor landed on top of Sean, crushing him. Apparently, Trevor was driving (he's the most reckless driver out of the three boys) and when he attempted a turn, before they even knew what was happening, the go-kart went onto two wheels and then toppled over to its side, with Trevor's weight coming full onto his brother. Even though they were both wearing seat belts, Sean was pretty banged up and showed me his scrapes and bruises (on his arms and the back of his waist). Trevor did something to his elbow and has been complaining about dull pain in it ever since.

When I went in to see Trevor, he was very somber and subdued. I'm pretty sure John exploded when he saw what they had done (after assisting them in righting the thing). Trevor said the go-kart won't run now, and it was leaking oil or gas. This, after just plunking down several hundred more dollars to get the thing repaired so they could use it this summer. I tried to impress upon him the blessing in the scenario - amazingly neither of them were seriously hurt. When I picture the damage that could have been done, I shudder. It was probably Trevor's weight which kept the thing from flipping completely over. One of them could have broken their necks and been paralyzed or killed.

The go-kart is history. Hubby said he is unwilling to plunk another dime into its repair (it is really difficult to find mechanics who are willing to repair go-karts because they cause so much physical damage and, after an accident, people often attempt to sue the last person who worked on their go-kart). I can't say I'm sad to see it go. While I love seeing my boys have a good time, it always put me on edge worrying about the possible injury and death scenarios. I'm so thankful this accident didn't bring any of those scenarios into reality. And as grateful as I am that nothing happened to my boys, I'm even more grateful that this accident didn't happen with one of their friends in the go-kart. Who knows, maybe their friends' guardian angels don't work overtime like my sons' angels do!

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