“Mama, my friend rides on a motorbike to school … without a helmet.”
Lamb looked worried.
He had every reason to be. For some months, Sweet Man and I had been discussing the pros and cons of transport via motorbike. My husband talked to bike users and the constant theme that threaded through their stories was “danger”. Riding a motorbike has tremendous cost savings especially with recent fuel hikes, but it’s also highly risky.
The kids listened keenly each time Sweet Man came home with a report on the latest bike accident he heard of and saw. And we agreed we were hearing too many scary stories for us to feel safe about anyone we loved getting anywhere on two wheels.
Lamb voiced his concern for his schoolmate last week when I picked him up after school. We were even more stunned a few days later when, as we were driving off, we saw a mother collecting two of Lamb’s classmates, trying to seat the both of them – and another younger child – onto her motorbike. Four people on a bike, three of them little kids without helmets! There was a car behind ours and by the time I had swung around to see if we could give them a lift, they had gone.
Homeschooling has its benefits, but one of the things I am glad about regular school is that our kids now have friends whom they not only have fun with but also care about, deeply.
Friends who live in the same neighbourhood whom they would hardly have had a chance to know and befriend, but for regular school. Friends who live in the poorer section of the neighbourhood, who probably can’t get to school any other way except by motorbike.
We talked about the idea of getting helmets for Lamb’s classmates, but we have yet to conclude how to get them to wear them. I realise a lot depends on the parents, and going further in that direction to address the problem is a tricky and sensitive affair.
At least Lamb has started thinking about such issues. He’s a 5 year old with a big heart.
I’m burdened about how we can help his motorbike riding classmates. Before something awful happens.
I’m sure my little boy is watching to see what I’ll do in the face of an obvious social concern.
And if I do nothing.
What would you do?