Sins of the Parents

This post is by Abbie Johnson Taylor


Late last Thursday afternoon, I was in my office, working on my new novel, when I heard a vehicle with a diesel engine pull into my driveway. I live next door to a day care center, and some parents park at the bottom of my driveway momentarily while picking up or dropping off their kids. I paid no attention to this diesel engine’s rumbling until a few minutes later when I heard a crash.

I stepped outside my kitchen door and noticed that a big, black truck had bashed in my garage door. There appeared to be no action around the truck, but because of my limited vision, I couldn’t tell for sure. Not knowing what else to do, I called 911.


As it turned out, a little girl of about four or five was in the back seat of the truck with her seat belt on when the truck crashed into my garage door. Her parents were apparently inside the day care center, having left her alone in the truck. The good news is that the driver’s insurance will no doubt cover the cost of repairing my garage door.


This reminded me of an incident that happened years ago when I was about the same age as this child. We were living in Tucson, Arizona, at the time. My mother and I stopped one evening at a small market on our way home from somewhere.


When we pulled into the store’s parking lot which sloped up to the entrance, my mother turned off the ignition and asked me if I wanted to go in with her or stay in the car. I opted to stay in the car, but after a few minutes, I was bored, so I went inside and found my mother.


When we came out, we discovered that the car had rolled to the edge of the parking lot near the busy street. Naturally, my mother thought I’d been in the car when it rolled, but I assured her I hadn’t. I had only wandered into the store because I was bored.


I’m thankful now that I did. If I’d stayed in the car, and it rolled, it would definitely have been a frightening experience. I’m sure this child was just as scared, especially with a crazy lady, me, running around the truck yelling, opening the driver’s side door to find no one there, closing it, then disappearing.


After I posted about the incident on Facebook, a friend commented that Social Services needed to know about this. I reasoned, though, that if the policeman who responded to my 911 call thought it was necessary to notify Social Services, he would have done so. Besides, if Social Services were called, and the child was removed to a foster home, that would have been more traumatic than being in a rolling vehicle that collided with a garage door. Also, since my mother left me alone in a car when I was a child, I don’t want to be the one to cast the first stone.




I’m the author of a romance novel, two poetry collections, and a memoir. My work has appeared in The Avocet and Magnets and Ladders. I have a visual impairment and live in Sheridan, Wyoming, where for six years, I cared for my late husband, who was totally blind and partially paralyzed by two strokes. Before that, I worked as a registered music therapist in a nursing home and other facilities that served senior citizens. For more information, please visit my website and blog.




Author Abbie Johnson Taylor

We Shall Overcome

How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

Click to hear an audio trailer.

Like me on Facebook.



16 thoughts on “Sins of the Parents

  1. I agree with your decision, Abbie. Like you wrote, if someone had called Social Services back when you were little, you might have been traumatized. It was a learning experience for your mom — the same as the parent of the truck. Now leaving a kid in a hot vehicle… that’s a whole another can of worms.


  2. I hope all is resolved over the fixing of your door, Abbie. My grand kids are now asking to be left in the car if I pop into the shop for a few groceries ( we have NO hot days over here to worry about – more that they might freeze!) . My answer is always a ‘no’ as it was when my own kids were growing up. I’m not an over cautious or anxious grandmother but I am in charge of the welfare of those kids…and I reckon it is always a good learning situation for them to be in that store and realise that when I say I’m only buying bread and milk, I mean that. I’m not buying sweets or unhealthy snacks. They’ve both realised that moaning or whining gets them no-where! And I always know where they are.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nancy, I spoke to the insurance adjuster a couple of days ago, and yesterday, I emailed him some photos of the damaged garage door along with an estimate from Roll N Rite, so will see what happens. I don’t blame you for not wanting to leave your grandkids in the car. I think it should be a matter of personal choice as long as they’re safe.


  3. I agree with you if the police thought a call to Social Services was in order they would have made the call. You were smart to call 911. The police report will keep the truck owner honest. Glad no one was hurt.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, S. J. Long story short, I heard from the driver’s insurance adjuster a couple of nights ago after I emailed him photos and an estimate I got from Roll Not Rite. He will send me a check for the full amount of the estimate.


  4. Abbie, I am glad your door is going to be fixed. One time, my youngest brother probably around 3 years old got in our car, knocked it out of gear and went over the hill. Fortunately, he went to the left into a bank, the right side had a drop-off. My next to youngest brother came into the house where Mom and I were fixing lunch and he said, “Mom, Lee drove the car over the hill.” She thought he was talking about a toy car, and absentmindedly said, “That’s nice.” He said, “Mom, Lee drove your car over the hill.” She and I both took off running. Lee was standing on the seat with eyes as big as saucers, he didn’t cry until Mom got him out of the car. It’s funny now, but it wasn’t then. Cher’ley

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Having a truck run into your garage door must have been bad, but finding no one in the truck–that must have been scary. I think you’re right about not calling Social Services. The police know how and when to deal with those things. Best wishes for a quick and easy repair.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Kathy. I talked to the gal at Roll “N” Rite yesterday, the company where I got the estimate for which the driver’s insurance company will be reimbursing me. She said they only order on Thursday, and they will receive the new door next Thursday. I’m afraid it won’t be a speedy replacement, but it’s better than nothing.


    1. Thank you, Neva. I’m afraid it’ll be about three weeks until the door will actually be replaced. The new door was ordered on Thursday, and it’ll take two weeks for it to get here and another week for the folks at Roll N Rite to get their collective heads out of their collective posteriors so they can install it.


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