Having a personal safety devices can save a child during situations where the parents may not always be present. Children like to play and to explore their world and wonder off in their own thoughts. In that process, accidents could happen and the possible sustain of injuries or worse is ever present. Unfortunately, in some cases those injuries can be fatal with more than two million children under the age of 15 are estimated to experience injuries arising from accidents in and around the home every year. It is also estimated that 62 children under the age of five lose their lives yearly as a result of injuries sustained during accidents.
Chapter 2: The Tiresome Journey: Where’s my mom?
Winsley lounged in his exhibit, nestled in a tree. He was watching several other monkeys play and swing from the branches. He never joined in, as he was often met with the other monkey breaking up the fun whenever he had tried. They would split up and go separate directions to avoid him. If Winsley watched them, he could imagine himself playing with the others.
Winsley would get the strongest urge to to play and swing with them. He would play with an imaginary friend by swinging and climbing up his own tree as he chattered at the air in front of him.
This friend was invisible to the others, but he always wound up being the most interesting monkey he could think of. When everyone was given their single banana, his friend would somehow have 5 of them and share them with him.
He would tell his mother of all the adventures he and his friend had encountered. Some of them included evading big and scary cats, or just sharing secrets between them, while wondering about life.
His mother, a beautiful monkey in her own right, had a golden hue to her brown fur. It shined through her deeper brown tones, every time the sun had shined on her fur. She loved her little boy and knew he was special. All of her attention always seemed to be just for him. This made him happy he did not have to share his mother with no other monkey, so he was never alone.
The keepers of the zoo would call her Marigold because of the yellow and gold highlights in her fur. Her eyes were a gentle amber. Often she went to the learning lab to work with the keepers and scientist while learning the language of humans. Often they gave her extra treats which seemed to happen more often. Her tummy had gotten rather big. But she always saved a couple for Winsley.
At night, they would put a sound proof plastic panel up on the exhibit which helped prevent noises from each exhibit transferring to others. This allowed each group of animals to get a restful night's sleep. They allowed certain species to socialize and interact with the children and roam about the park. A handful monkey’s acquired this right after endless hours of training, each of them were embedded with a chip that tracked their locations within the park.
The sun would rise, and the barriers would come down. They would play a sound of a bell across the speaker. This told all the animals that they were permitted to travel about the park. When the sun set, another sound would go off and all the animals returned to their pens to eat and sleep for the night.
However, tonight unlike other nights, there were 2 humans standing outside the exhibit visible through the plastic barrier. Each of them holding what appeared to be a net, making weird gestures, and seemed to communicate with each other by moving their arms and lips. They began moving towards the exhibit door.
Glancing into it exhibit via the panels, they made sure that it was clear to enter. As it was quiet and most of the monkeys were asleep after their long day of interacting and playing with the kids that came to visit.
They entered with both nets in hand, looking around at the monkey’s. Several slept in corners, a couple were in the trees and some were sleeping in little nests made of hay on the ground. The two men scouted and looked around the exhibit, until their eyes fell upon Marigold, who was sound asleep in her hay nest in a corner of the exhibit.
One of them crept forward with a net in hand, tip-toeing then rotated the net and threw it over her head and body before twisting it up trapping Marigold. She quickly let out screams of terror as she was startled awake. She tried to twist her body to escape the net.
The other monkeys in the exhibit heard this and started an uproar of noise, swinging from trees and panicking, throwing sticks and rocks, afraid and terrified after hearing Marigold’s startled screams.
Winsley woke up from his nap hearing his mother and the screams from the other moneys and ran towards her. He let out sounds and cries of worry rushing in her direction before finding himself caught in a net as well, just a few feet from her. The man who had caught him spoke up and yelled to the other. “Get her out of here, I got this one, we can’t let them escape.”
“But what about… Wins-" The other man holding Marigold was cut off by rocks being thrown at him, he nodded. Then he proceeded to carry the captured monkey Marigold in his net towards the door. She panicked, but was restricted to her movements as her legs fell through the gaps of the net. Her arms reaching out towards her baby Winsley. While sad, angry and afraid, cries escaped her lips.
The other that managed to trap Winsley within his net, deflecting rocks and waited until the female monkey was no longer in the room before releasing the panicking and scared Winsley.
Winsley immediately tried to follow, but was unable. His mother was led away through the door and separated by the plastic barrier that separated them from the hallway. Winsley began to bang on the plastic barrier. Following in the same direction as her, until she was out of sight behind the wall.
The second man took his chance and ran out of the door, and locked it behind him, leaving the exhibit in an uproar of sounds and cries from both Winsley and the other monkeys. He had been warned that this might happen. But needed to sure the female monkey was safely separated from the rest, as it was a priority.
Winsley no matter how hard he tried was unable to follow his beloved mother. He kept trying pounding on the plastic barrier and crying out for her, even though he had lost sight of her. It took a few hours for the other monkeys to return to their peaceful nature. Winsley sat slumped in front of the plastic barrier, for even longer. To him it seemed like it was days. As he waited to see if his mother would return.
He finally returned to where his mother’s nesting place was, giving up. He looked for his mother. Unable to find her the only thing he could do was lay in her nest, trembling and scared. Wondering if he would ever see her again. This was the first time he had been separated from his mother, in a way he would not be able to return. He was truly alone.
Winsley spent several hours crying in her nest, that he didn’t even notice the sun come up. The sounds that usually broadcasted hadn’t gone off, like they normally do before his barrier came down which allowed him to roam the park. He didn’t even notice his friend the boy with the red hat entering the exhibit. As he lay still sobbing in the corner.
Chapter 4: Winsley goes to school
Marigold, Ella and Winsley were sleeping in their nest among a tree. Winsley was the first to wake rubbing his blurry eyes. He looks around seeing all of his new friends still nestled in their beds. He was always the first awake, and last to bed. He enjoyed his life, eating and playing with his new friends.
It starts with flour and baking soda...no, scratch that. It started with a steamer trip across the Atlantic on the RMS Queen Elizabeth. Born in Paisley, Scotland, of Irish decent, she traveled alone at the invitation of relations abroad to make her new home in America.
Things change. Time goes on and yet we have, only, right now. This present, current moment in time. Slowly but surely and yet as quick as the sands pass through the hour glass, time passes. For each of us we have a certain kind of security. We have a type of fervent wish or tamed desire pushing us through each day. We find ourselves stuck in time or as fast as the river rushes, down stream, we wonder how we got there. My fondest joy as a child was going to my grandmother's home. Her name is Maw. Maw and Pop. The adults would have coctails and either BBQ next to the pool or a nice roast would be sending aroma arrows throughout the house. I would play with my cousins. We would swim in the pool, swing on the tire swing or adventure in the woods behind the house. I can smell all the smells and feel the coolness of the air conditioning on hot summer days. My memories. When I close my eyes I can smell the eggs and scrapple frying in the morning with the sound of the Bunn dripping the coffee. Pop left us many many moons ago to Lynphonma. Maw, now nearly 89 currently resides in an assisted living home for those with Damentia. Things change. Time goes on and yet we have, only, right now. My right now is sitting at my kitchen table, listening to ABC songs on youtube as my toddler runs around and I write this piece for you. My right now is fairly comfortable. 100 degrees outside, my window AC unit is keeping it bearable in my home. On this Ranch on the border of Mexico that I call home. My almost 19 year old son is in his new bedroom, my old room, now his. He is gaming online. My right now also consists of my two other children, 6 year old son and 10 year old daughter, from my ex husband, sitting in their grandmother's small stuffy appartment in the city probably staring at their phones on Tik Tok, playing Mindcraft or whatever other such mindcontrolled distractuions eat up thier time. Parental alienation preceeding my divorce has segwayed to a damaged relationship with my 2 middle children. This has brought me much heartache. Now, my toddler is biting my nipple as he nurses and I type these words. I am frustrated and angry now. All I want to do is get these words out of my mind and onto this screen. Yes, I can ween him off at any moment which will have its own slew of conflict resolution scenarios. Single mother of 4, never easy, always hard. I can always close my eyes and think of the days when I was a child running around in the grass at Maw's house. Maw's house was sold some years ago, however still stands on the same street in the same town on the same coast, East. I now live on the West coast. Over 3,000 miles away from where I grew up. My right now, a few weeks ago, took myself and my toddler back home. I have missed it so. Craving some familiarity, comfort and security from the past which has slipped by as quickly as ice melts. I saw Maw, in her new home. She did not know who I was. Her question every few minutes was the same. "I live here?" My aunt and I would answer her the same. "Yes, you live here." Then she would ask, "where is my husband?" We would answer, "He is in heaven." Her next question, "Well, how long has he been there?" Our answer, about 20 years now. Then, she would ask, "I live here?" And our answer would be, "yes, you live here." And on and on we went. Same questions with the same answers. Things change. Time goes on and yet we have, only, right now. It had been three years since I saw Maw last. She was is a gradula cognitive decline, living in her new condo, still knowing who I was and where she was. On this recent visit, I drove by Maw and Pop's old house. The new owner was mowing the grass. I almost pulled into the drive way, however, chose to keep driving past. I could see Maw doing cartwheels in the front yard as she did whenever we would leave. She was always full of energy. She kept the house sparkling clean. The fresh towels in the linen closet folded and stacked neatly was always one of my favorite things to admire. Maw will always be my most favorite person. Maw will always be the woman and grandmother I aspire to be. Even though she does not remember me now and will depart us one day in the near future, I can always close my eyes and smell her roast in the oven. I can always close my eyes and feel her standing next to me as she taught me how to make her famouse mashed potatoes. Tears roll down my cheecks in this now moment because things change. From childhood to adulthood, things change. That of which we could physically be in the precence of and experience does not always last forever. In fact, most things do not last forever. Driving by Maw and Pop's which is no longer Maw and Pop's reminds me of how slowely yet quickly time goes by. Being in those moments of Joy and then years later looking back, we realize that our confort and joy must come from within. Our security must not be bound by material things in time and space. We will always have our memories to look back on. Clinging to the now moments of the past for comfort will only lead us to the abrupt stop sign of this current moment. Looking back on what was and now is currently not. This time that we seek, we will always have. Our memories. Our workings in this precent moment. Everytime I make Maw's mashed potatoes I bring the past to the present moment. When I smell bounce dryer sheets I am immediately standing at the linen closet admiring Maw's maternal handywork. When my children have children and they come for dinner, I will be Maw. I will be the Maw to them that Maw is and always will be for me. The all encompasing joy of my childhood that I can still have in adulthood. Even though I cannot fully have those moments back, I can recreate them. I can close my eyes and relive them. Things change. Time goes on and yet we have, only, this moment. Enjoy it. With love: Erin
Today's children spend far too much time indoors staring at screens, and not nearly enough time outside. By turning your backyard into a wildlife habitat, your children will want to be in the fresh air. They'll be making observations of the creatures that appear, and helping with feeding and building. They may even become future environmentalists.