I feel about helicopters somewhat the way you do about sirens. When I was young, we lived a few blocks from the largest hospital in the state, where my mother was in medical school. I remember her explaining to me that the helicopters we heard overhead were bringing sick and injured people from faraway parts of the state (or, I suppose, from anywhere during home football games--the stadium is cheek-by-jowl with the hospital) to get treated at the big hospital.

That was the same era where we ate dinner at a card table in the living room every Monday night so we could watch M*A*S*H. At six I had little understanding of the large implications of the show, but I knew my mom was learning to be a doctor like Hawkeye and BJ (and of course Radar was from Iowa, just like us).

I know in my logical mind that helicopters are used to end lives and injure people as often--or more often--than they are to save people, but I can't override the feeling of that early chopper sound.

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I cannot bring myself to watch that video. My middle schooler is tiny and had to cross a parkway to get to school. Deep breaths help me teeter between ensuring he makes it to adulthood and ensuring he has some life skills and independence when he gets there. Denial is an important ingredient in my parenting strategy.

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