It was a terrible day for a family and community in Toronto today. Their little three-year old boy got up in the middle of the night, put on his boots and walked out of the apartment into one of the coldest nights of the year. The family and community launched a frantic search of the community this morning once his disappearance was discovered. Sadly when he was found he had no vital signs and was declared dead at the hospital. It breaks my heart to think of how his family must be feeling.
It also breaks my heart think that this little boy is probably not the only kid to die this week in Toronto, not to mention in the rest of the province, country and world. Every day there are families in mourning over the loss of children. As parents we do everything in our power to protect our kids and sometimes we aren’t successful.
From what I have read about Elijah in the media he seems to have been loved and well cared for by his family. They probably never even considered that he would get up in the middle of the night and walk out the door. There are risks we can prepare for and try to mitigate. We put our kids in car seats and seat belts to make them safer in cars. We teach them to take precautions when crossing the street and to wear a bike helmet when riding. We educate them about stranger danger and tell them not to put their hands on hot stoves. We make them wear clothes appropriate for the weather and make sure the food we give then is properly cooked. Sometimes things happen that we can’t anticipate or plan for.
We can’t plan for everything. It would be paralyzing to try to anticipate and protect against every risk. We could never leave the house and even then it wouldn’t mean we had protected against all the possible risks. We need to be able to live our lives and give our kids a life. We each have to find ways to live without being in a constant state of hyper-vigilance and fear.
Stories like today remind us to check our home for risks and most of all they remind us to hug our kids tight and tell them that we love them and will do our best to keep them safe.
I made it home from my meetings in Toronto in time to give my kids a big hug before bed.