A 9-year-old girl who was in a horrific car crash with her father in Southern California hiked more than one mile at 1 a.m. to try to save her unresponsive father. Sadly, she was unsuccessful and her father died. But her heroism won't soon be forgotten.
The idea of this poor girl making such a horrific trek is terrifying and tragically poignant. But it's also a sign that our children are capable of so much more than we think or expect from them. After their SUV drove over a cliff, this little girl was able to assess her dad's condition, crawl out of the car, and walk through deep darkness on rough terrain. All of this was in order to save her dad.
The love is overwhelming. But it's more than that, too. See below:
As parents, we try so hard to make our kids independent, but we also coddle them. I am not indicting any parents because I do it myself. I still put my son's shoes on his feet even though I know he can do it. I still carry him part of the way on long walks just because he asks. Part of this is because he is my last baby (my daughter does much more for herself), but part of it is because he claims to not be able to and it's easier if I just do it.
Everyone is so shocked by this girl's walk because this story is being read in homes that are in "civilization." Whether urban, suburban, or rural, many parents in the US aren't asking their kids to do walks like this on a daily basis.
There is no doubt that what this girl did was heroic. Beyond. It's hard to imagine the fear that must have coursed through her, all alone at night on a dark road. Police suspect alcohol may have been a factor in the crash, which adds an extra layer of sadness. This girl was being so responsible and brave, while the man who was supposed to protect her may not have been.
Regardless of what caused the crash, this is a tragedy and this girl is a hero from whom we can learn so much about all of our kids. They are capable of so much more than we believe.
My heart breaks for her and I hope her healing starts soon.
Do you think we underestimate kids?