Privilege, and looking after each other.
So, this evening, I got home early from training as my afternoon session got cancelled. Whilst it was a shame to miss a session this close to another major competition (3 weeks to go!) it meant I was able to go and collect my 4 year old son from school - a rare treat - (Working, training and competing make for a busy schedule!) and I would go to an evening training session. But before we left, my wife put dinner in the oven as I brought the car around.
Son collected we, along with my wife (and assistance dog Duggee - yes, named after the kids TV show!) headed straight to the local park.
10 minutes in to our visit, my son slips and splits his chin open. It's pretty nasty - full thickness - and he is (understandably) immensely upset and in a lot of pain.
Despite my slight (!?) panic (ok...there wasn't much 'slight' about it), my wife and I scooped him up and headed straight to the car. We searched for the local minor injuries unit on our phones (he needed to be seen, but did NOT need A&E/ER - easy to tell because his life was NOT in danger) and then headed straight there.
It took us 15 minutes. On the way my fuel light came on, but we had enough left in the tank so no panic.
Then we went in.
He was treated.
And we got back in the car.
By now it was late and so we headed to get him some fish and chips (he's 4 remember - small tummy needed feeding!) on the way home, in the full knowledge that the food in the oven will be beyond rescuing.
Now, at this point, I'm sure many are expecting me to remind everyone how great the NHS is and that we didn't have to pay for his treatment...well, it IS GREAT, and it WOULD have cost us $100's in the USA, but that's not the point of this post.
Our privilege and good fortune surrounding this event is the point.
What if we, as a family, were on the bread line?
- What if we had carefully budgeted to have 'enough food for the week' - Dinner was gone!
- What about using data on our cell phones?
- What if we had enough money for fuel to get us to and from work? - Fuel gone
- What if we had no car? - 15 minute car journey was 1.5hrs by bus, likely £50 return journey by taxi.
- What if, post treatment, we couldn't then feed our child.
- What if...
We're home now. He's in bed; treated, fed, warm, secure, and being read to.
We are so lucky for what we have, and yes, we work hard to have our income and privileges, but we also know for a fact that others, many, many others work equally hard - and harder! - but would be left without option. It's heart braking.
Is there a message to this? I'm not sure... save perhaps for: 'Look out for each other, it can be really tough even when you plan'.