Thursday, June 9, 2011

The event that shouldn't have happened

I wanted to wait until I got a picture of the exact place, but the thing is, the camera won't work.  I've tried cursing at it, I've tried holding it gently in my hands, I've tried knocking it against the ground.  No matter what magic trick I have tried, the damn thing won't work.

Two days ago my boy, my kid who digs all kinds of adventures except for those with people he is unfamiliar with, fell off the pedestrian bridge and into the river.  The river that is raging.  The river that has taken down parts of two different roads nearby (one upstream and one downstream) and has come three winks shy of flooding the main drag since the weather warmed up. 

Oh!  Here's a quick shot (seriously the moment was an "Oh!"  I just remembered this photo from once upon a time and got all kinds of excited).  This picture was taken years ago (not so many years ago, I suppose)- but you can get an idea.  All of the green stuff there in the background down low?  It's all under water right now.  And my boy?  My Leone?  He dropped off the edge of the earth right where the concrete is gray colored.  It's a good 4 to 5 feet spill, then add a few more feet of tumbling to get down into the river.

The thing is, I'm super careful with this little fella.  He wants to tromp all over the land and doesn't think anything will happen, but come on.  We need some limits.  And this one?  This time?  I had just told him that he had one minute until we went home for lunch.  One minute.  And I don't care if you end up following through with that twinkle in your eye and try rushing over that bridge- it's one minute.  Oh- you're going to do it, are you?  Well I'm a-coming!  That's right!  I'm gonna get you!

And there he was.  Bolting along the handrail, climbing up the steps as quick as could be.  And instead of staying on the river side where he was, I went on the bridge side.  Because he was going to make it to the bridge and was going to run until he made it to the far side... and the far side?  It's way worse than this side.  So I moved.  I moved and I shook.  But right before I got there, right before I grabbed his hand, he went over.  He went over.  And his eyes changed shape.  And his mouth opened wide.  And I moved like I had never moved before, making it to the handrail right as he started rolling down towards the river.

The river.  Fuck.  The river.  The raging river.  Please God, please Mary, please angels and saints and all those I love who have died before me... please, please, PLEASE let my boy not get caught in the current.  Fuck.  PLEASE.

And before I knew it, he was in there.  Covered up in water to his neck.  About a foot from the rushing, raging, pissed off current.

I don't know how it happened, but right then I was in the water, every part of me soaking wet, scooping my scared-out-of-his-mind boy out of the river.

You're safe now, you're safe, you're okay, you're safe.  Baby.  Baby.  Thank you, thank you, thank you....  Baby.  You're safe.

We walked home, pants dripping, shirts dripping, eyes dripping.  I just held him against me, holding out his arms, his legs, searching for the wounds I was sure to find from the rocks his body raked over, telling him that he was safe.  He was safe.  He was safe.

Not one scratch.  Not one broken arm.  Not a bruise.  Just a wee boy and his mama, holding tight to each other and trying to not think about what almost just happened.