One year ago this month I was sitting on my back deck looking out at my beautiful yard and my kids playing together and thought to myself “It’s been a year since we moved here and I’m just so happy. It’s so peaceful here and I’m very content with life.” Later that night, about 1:00 in the morning my husband and I were awakened by a very loud crash sound and then screaming. We rushed outside to see that there was a truck that had smashed into our backyard from an establishment that will remain unnamed. We quickly learned that it was a drunk driver that had come crashing through our fence and right into my kids secret hideout play area. I stood there looking at the smashed truck, and the toys that had been run over and broke down in tears. All I could think about was, “what if this had happened 6 hours earlier?” My kids were playing in that exact spot that evening, as they did most evenings. All three of them. It was the scariest sight I had ever seen. My protective “Mamma Bear” instincts kicked in and I was on a mission. I was NOT going to ever let this happen again, not in my safe and quiet neighborhood.
The Father’s day after we moved into our new home my husband said that he wanted to spend Father’s Day building the kids a secret hideout spot in our back yard. We have what we call woods back there, but it’s really just some trees lining our property. We used to live in a brand new development, so to my kids, big trees feel like woods. So, my husband spent the whole day on Father’s Day cutting down limbs and building up a stick fence and making them an amazing hideout back in the “woods”. They loved it and played there every chance they could.
After the crash they were not so excited about their hideout. They were very scared, in fact, and so was I. My husband and I had a meeting with the establishment demanding they put up some sort of barriers protecting us from something like this ever happening again. They claimed it was their highest priority. Month after month went by and nothing was done. We really wanted to do this the friendly way, without legal help. We wrote e-mails and had more meetings with them and all we got were broken promises. So, we took things one step further. We contacted our state representatives and many other authority members that we can not name, until we were able to get the job done.
Today, as I type, they are bringing in boulder after boulder with a huge backhoe. The barriers are going up! We did it! I have to say I am proud of myself, and my husband. We decided that after all this time to remain a strong team and get this accomplished together. It had been so long but I didn’t want to give up. I am proud and happy to show my kids that if you have a problem don’t just complain about it, do something! This may not seem like a big deal, but to us, it’s huge. It means that we can go outside and they can play where ever they want to and feel safe. Our neighborhood is beautiful and in a wonderful town, and we shouldn’t have to worry about our kids in our own yard. I wanted to show the kids that you can make a difference in your town, or neighborhood with hard work. I also wanted to show them how important they are to us, and that we will always do anything to keep them safe.
It has been almost a year of constant phone calls to many people of authority,meetings, and a lot of stress trying to keep our family and neighborhood safe. Our neighbors didn’t think we could do this. I was even getting discouraged at one point, but it’s not the first time I’ve accomplished something like this for the safety of my kids. I do hope it’s the last, though. I hope they have learned not to mess with a mamma on a mission. She ALWAYS wins!