We were having a beautiful walk today. The wind was nice, the golden and orange leaves were swirling about. My son and I always go on our long, long walks on days like this when it’s warm. I love the evening Autumn air and he likes pointing out the cars and trucks that go by. It was wonderful.
Until we came to your house.
I know you saw us standing there for at least 3 minutes. That you saw me trying to talk my son into walking past you and your leaf blower. I know you had to see me bend down and hold his hand, that in some part of your mind you had to have realized I was saying, “It’s okay, it’s okay to walk past the leaf blower.” Or at least realized when he turned around to walk a little farther away to wait for you to stop, that he was having trouble with the sound. You had to at least register that much. So when you turned off the leaf blower and walked up into your yard with the job unfinished, I thought that was a really nice thing to do. I even smiled at you before taking my sons hand and saying it was okay to keep going down the sidewalk now.
And he did, he was really happy clapping down the sidewalk; almost skipping. That was until you decided it would be amusing to turn on the leaf blower the very moment he walked to where you originally were standing.
Did you think it was funny when he screamed? Did you laugh when he ran, bolting away from my consoling hands down the sidewalk to the road? Was it still funny to you when you yelled out, “Hey, sorry it’s just a leaf blower!” Or was it when your wife, watching from the door stepped out to say something that then, then you realized what a horrible thing it was to do to a little boy.
You know, I’ve never seen my son scared of anything. Not the dark, not scary monsters, zombies or movies – not anything. Not once. He’s not even afraid to wander off without us into the unknown. So seeing him like that was the worst thing in the world to me and finally reaching him and him not wanting me to touch him was even worse.
It took me awhile to calm him down. We counted to 5 half a dozen times until he finally turned the corner and your house was out of sight. Now I have to worry whether or not you’ve ruined our walk around the block forever. If now he won’t go down that street because he will remember how afraid he was before. I have to be concerned about every other person out there blowing leaves off their lawn or how he’s going to react when we get another leaf blower for ourselves.
You ruined our peaceful time together and for what? Because it would have taken us less than 2 minutes to pass your house. Were we really so intrusive of you blowing the leaves off your sidewalk?
Thank you for reminding me of how there are people in this city that are so inconsiderate of others that they can’t even let them walk by without ruining their day.
The Mom of the boy with the Maple Leaf.