Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Near Death Experiences in Suburbia

Poor Jason. This weekend I had to go into work. This left Jason alone with the kids for a pool party Sunday. I thought this meant parents in the pool with the kids. Nope. But I'll get to that.

Jason took the kids to Walmart to pick out a present for the birthday boy. Marcie was sitting in the seat portion of the cart, but she was turned sideways in it. Casey decided to climb up the side Marcie's back was to. This is not an uncommon thing for him to do-- we let him do it while we're pushing the cart in the grocery store all the time. But apparently Walmart carts are much more flimsy because Casey was able to yank on the cart as he climbed up it and pull the cart over on its side. With Marcie in it. Casey managed to get out of the way. But not Marcie.

She landed on her back with the cart on top of her. And when it happened, the clerk screamed just before the cart rolled. Jason reached out to try and stop it, but in super slow motion, his hand just barely missed the edge of the shopping cart as it tipped. And then there was silence. Deafening, ear-splitting silence. And a single thought ran through Jason's mind: "OHMYGOD. Casey may have just killed his sister."

And then out of the deafening silence came the most beautiful and awful sound. Marcie began to scream. And in a flash, the world began moving in fast forward, with three Walmart employees on top of Jason at once, and Jason trying to calm Marcie down. Of course, I wasn't there for any of this-- this has just been relayed to me.

There's quite a knot on her head, but Marcie is fine. No dilated pupils. No sleepiness. No vomiting. And the girl is coherent and chatty as ever.

So off to the birthday party, now late, they went. By the time they arrived, swimming had ended. This didn't stop Casey from dipping his feet in the pool with enough insistence that the birthday boy's mother finally told Casey he could go in. And all the kids in their swimsuits jumped in, too. The pool was set up with sort of a shelf as a shallow section, and then a dramatic and sudden drop-off to the deep end.

Jason watched Casey as he played on the shallow shelf part of the pool. And Casey played contentedly. Until he floated toward the drop-off and, well, dropped off. Initially he began doggy-paddling and flailing. Let's call it a panic, because that's what it was. Jason watched as Casey attempted to get to safety. But went the wrong way. Soon, Casey was in the middle of the deep end, and the birthday boy's dad and Jason were just about to leap in, when in a moment's time, Casey stopped flailing, put his head under the water, and swam. To the shallow end. By himself. Safe.

It was pretty frightening, but I guess those swim lessons sort of paid off. Later, I told Casey how proud of him I was. And I asked him how he felt. "Well," he said thoughtfully, "I was scared, Mommy," he explained. Then he held out his hand and pinched his pointer finger together with his thumb. "Just a little bit scared, I think," he repeated. "Yup, just a little bit."

Whew! What a day. I think Jason deserves a medal just for surviving it.

1 comment:

Chic Shopper Chick said...

Oh man, I can't help but say that I laughed when I read this. Not out of cruelty, because of course I know it's not a good thing, but because I could picture this so vividly as a scene in my life sometime very soon.

Oh the joys of young kids. I've gotta say though, it makes me so excited to start thinking about #2.