I powered down my computer angrily. I was so angry I almost just pushed the power button to turn it off, but shutting off the computer without following the proper procedure can cause internal damage to the machine.
All the while, I muttered to myself. “Too safe my bahunkus!” I groused. “If it saves one life…”
I’d just finished reading a NYTimes.com story with the headline “Can a Playground be too Safe?“, and I’ll admit it: I was agitated. I checked my pulse on my neck to be sure I wasn’t straying out of my optimum heart-health zone.
“There’s no such thing as too safe!” I whispered, careful not to wake the kids. If the kids didn’t get their 8.75 hours sleep, there could be long-term negative consequences on their health, grades and emotional well-being, I reminded myself.
No use, though. My thirteen-year-old daughter came running dangerously down the stairs at that very moment. “Hey, use the handrail!” I admonished her gently, cautiously, so as not to damage her self-esteem.
“Right. Sorry, dad,” she said. “Hey, can I go to the pool?”
“Sure!” I chirped. I encourage her to swim often. It’s great exercise and very gentle on the joints. And I felt much more comfortable with my daughter going to the pool now that the community group had removed those death-traps (and litigation magnets) the high-dive, the low-dive, the sliding board, and the 10-foot-well, as well as filled in the 7-foot-deep side of the main pool to 4 feet (not too deep, but not too shallow for careful diving), removed the nutrition-negative candy from the snack bar, covered the pool deck concrete with soft foam, prohibited bathers from taking off their shirts or wearing pants that rose above the ankles (to prevent sunburns), and lowered the lifeguard stands to 18-inches.
“Want me to drive you?” I asked my daughter. A fifth of a mile is a long walk in this heat.
“No, it’s quicker if I walk,” my daughter said. I couldn’t argue there – once they lowered all speed limits to 4 mph (saving countless lives), it had become faster to walk… almost anywhere.
“Just be sure to take your helmet!” I suggested.
“Which one?” my daughter asked. “My walking helmet or my swimming helmet?”
“Both,” I said. It sure will be easier when they come up with a universal helmet for all activities, I thought. The big hurdle at this point was designing a helmet that was comfortable to sleep in.
Too safe? I grumbled to myself as I carried my daughter down the stairs in front of our house and placed her carefully on the grass so she could start out for the pool.
No such thing as too safe. If even one life is saved….