A terrible thing happened to my family over the weekend.
My 3 year old nephew ran outside to catch up with this grandfather, who was mowing the lawn. As many times as he's been warned about not to do this, he loves his Poppy and getting tractor rides on the John Deere. His grandfather knew no children were in the yard while he was mowing, and had no idea little Petey had run outside. He was backing around a tree as Petey came up behind him, and Petey's mother caught up to him just in thime to pull him out from under the mower deck. This little boy has lost his big toe and the one next to it, broken the bone in the front of his leg, and his ankle was dislocated when my sister pulled him out (avoiding a much bigger tragedy, for certain).
My father is completely devastated over what has happened, my sister and he both blame themselves. Of course this was an accident, and with time everyone will move forward. Petey is young enough that he will recover full use of this foot and leg. We realize how fortunate we are that things didn't turn out worse.
It is our family's hope that by sharing this tragedy with others, we can make sense of what happened and hopefully prevent anyone else from experiencing this horror.
PLEASE, no matter how much they beg, no matter how much they love to chase after lawn mowers and ride on tractors, no matter how cute or sweet it seems, PLEASE do not let children ANYWHERE near tractors. The temporary anger they might feel when you say no is nothing compared to having to explain to a little one that they have lost their little toes, or seeing their grandfather completely broken over having caused their golden child pain.
We were fortunate and will get through this. Please tell your children about little Petey. Make them understand. Their lives might depend on it.