I took the kids out to Bridge Street yesterday. It’s a fancy outdoor shopping center (Actually – you know it’s fancy because it spells it centRE) that has a carousel and fountains and such things to entertain a toddler while providing store fronts that keep me entertained. (Have you ever been inside the store Francesca’s? I’m scared to go in but the window displays are always full of things I covet for myself.)
As much fun as we did have, there was one adrenaline rushing event that will haunt me for years. A little girl about NikkiZ’s age fell into a fountain. Now – before I tell the story – she’s FINE. She didn’t even need any CPR or anything…but it was still traumatizing. I just wanted you to know it all worked out okay before I got started.
Her and several other girls were running around the edge of the fountain on the wall of it and one of them fell in. Now, LilZ and I were at the other end letting NikkiZ throw pennies in (It was a long shallow fountain) but we heard one of the women in the group yell, “She’s in! She’s in!” And then she went running across the fountain through the water to the little girl who was, in all practical sense, drowning. It was horrifying. I saw her little face bob up and down. Even though the water was shallow, she had obviously gotten enough in her mouth that she was choking and couldn’t get her head straight to just stand up.
It was a visual I’ll never forget.
It was one of those strange moments where you feel like you should do something, but everyone else is already doing it. One woman was halfway across the fountain and another was on her way into it while a big sister was running around the fountain to get to the girl. But – it still seemed like they were all moving so slow and the woman running through the fountain who was ahead of the rest of the bunch – stopped in the middle. She just STOPPED. Maybe because the fountain dropped off or something, I’m not sure. But LilZ, who was watching it all unfold like I did, gunned up at that moment to run because he saw the same thing I did. SHE STOPPED. WHY DID SHE STOP? I said, “Run, LilZ.” And he took off. Now – in those two seconds, the other two pursuers made it to the girl and LilZ was able to turn back, but still. The fact that he took off in the second made me VERY proud.
Everything worked out, they got the girl out and she screamed for a good 10 minutes while the mothers cried over her. It was scary and my heart was still beating in my throat 30 minutes later. What do you think the first thing I did was? After realizing everything was okay? I grabbed NikkiZ’s arm and said, “Whatever you do, do NOT step on that WALL. STAY ON THE GROUND. Or you’ll NEVER get to watch Dora AGAIN.”
What? Did you think I was going to say I hugged her or something? Yeah. Well. I did that too.