Adventures, Thing 1

Adrenaline doesn’t mix well with Ice Cream

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.

The safe fountains

36 thoughts on “Adrenaline doesn’t mix well with Ice Cream”

  1. oh man that would be so so so scary!! I wonder why the lady stopped? Oh that poor girl. I remember playing on the steps of a pool once when I was little and thought I could jump or something and yeah…lots of water in the mouth. It wasn’t fun. I think I got swimming lessons after that!

  2. Go LilZ. It is reassuring to hear of kids instinctively wanting to help strangers. Congratulations Zoot, LilZ rocks.

  3. Oh dear God. How terrifying. I was frightened just reading it, even after you said everything turned out ok. LilZ rocks Zoot. You’ve done yourself proud. What a wonderful young man.

  4. I got emotional just reading it. OMG.

    A couple of weeks ago we were at a lake and Lil’bug kept wading out into water that was too deep for her. By too deep I mean she couldn’t put her hands down, and touch the sand at the bottom to keep her head out of the water. After about a gazillion times telling her, too deep, too deep, I finally stuck my foot out in front of her and let her go face first into the water. I was right there and, of course, pulled her up immediately so she was in no danger, but I wanted to impress upon her the danger of being in water that was too deep for her. Did she get it? Of course not. It’s going to be a long summer.

    Go LilZ! What a good man he is! You’ve done well, Zoot!

  5. oh man…that’s scary!

    Course, my kid is SO SCARED of getting his face wet that all I’d have to do is say “See that wall? You fall off? YOU GET WET” and he’d stay 10 feet away lol

    Such a cool big brother!

  6. I’m fairly sure that LilZ might be the best big brother in the history of the universe, if not the best big sibling. And I say that knowing where a big sibling comes from.

  7. Go LilZ for being a hero!!!!!! My Brother would probably have wanted to know 5 reasons why to do it before even budging (actually my bro isn’t that mean lol)

    My Friend at church has a daughter called Abster (ok not actually Abster but it’s like why LilZ is that and not his name!) and has just had her second baby – she’s still trying to get used to juggling two children. Abster’s dad went to collect the car after church and Abster wanted to folllow – so she did – she got to the brick wall outside church and we saw what she was upto – dont ask me what happened I just ran dodged the Pastor and an old dear and scooped Abster up under my arm – she started screaming at the top of her lungs as I took her back to her Mum but soon it kinda clicked it was for her own good.

    It’s funny how you find yourself doing things without thinking like that.

    (sorry essay of a comment!)

  8. That would’ve bothered me too! I’m so glad Lil Z had the instincts to run – he’ll be a great dad some day!

    BTW, look up “Dry drowning” – I’d NEVER heard of it before.

  9. Ok. I’ve held this in for too long.
    I have a crush on LilZ. I know, I know. I’m too old for him. And yes, I’m married. But, he seems like the most charming, most considerate kid I’ve ever….well, I haven’t met him…so…read about.
    So yeah. What a great Kid.

  10. AWWW…I’ve got tears in my eyes! See what a fab mom you are? You raise terrific children! Way to be lilz!

  11. Good instincts, LilZ! That stuff cannot be taught.

    Last year at a wading pool that was only 1 foot deep, Arun went under and could not get up. He was still toddlerish and had to push from the bottom of the pool, but he was too short to do so while keeping his head OUT of water. I will never forget that instant that I saw him going under. Never. He was so QUIET about it and there were kids all around him. And it was a SMALL, TEENY wading pool that had been rented/reserved by my sister in a public park, so we knew everyone there. Talk about a false sense of security when I turned my head for a second. Stupid me.

    I just read the other day that folks think that if someone falls in a pool and is drowning, that the person will splash and make lots of commotion. The opposite is actually true – the victim tends to “sink or just float” there quietly, not arousing attention. Something for all of us to keep in mind as we head into full-on swimming season. *sigh*

    Timely post for us all to think about. Thanks, Zoot.

    P.S. You probably said the right thing to NikkiZ – tell her on HER level that she will understand! πŸ™‚

  12. That sort of reminds me of when I was younger, and we were in Williamsburg… It was my cousin, my parents, and I, and we were all at the pool. All of a sudden, we heard this woman shouting, “MY BABY, MY BABY! SHE’S DROWNING! SOMEONE HELP HER, I CAN’T SWIM!!”

    My cousin dove in and pulled her out. She was about 8 at the time. My cousin was about the same age as LilZ, maybe a little older.

    Its people like that, who grow up to be extraordinary people. =)

  13. Oh my gosh. So, so scary. I am paranoid crazy about drowning and have sworn to never have a backyard pool – I can’t handle drowning stories! But it’s really good to be reminded that this stuff can happen in all situations and for us mamas to be aware (of every child, not just our own!). Even the wading pool stuff – the other day Thomas was at a birthday party and it was exhausting, keeping an eye on him – the water was too deep for my liking. He doesn’t even get an inch in his bathtub!

    And LilZ – what a guy!

  14. NikiZ is adorable and AndyZ melts my heart. But LilZ? He is often the embodiment for what I hope my 11 year old son is growing into. E is about 2 feet shorter than LilZ πŸ™‚ but seems to have the same empathy and respect you have done such a great job in instilling in your son. Here’s to my hope that I am parenting an almost teen boy as well as you have!

  15. Whoever ends up dating LIl Z is going to be so screwed if she ever messes with him because the ENTIRE INTERNET is going to show up and kick her ass. Just sayin.

  16. Thank you for sharing this VERY SCARY story. A reminder for all of us to be vigilant at all times.

  17. I feel a little sick just reading this. I’m glad everything worked out.

    Way to go LilZ!! That’s quite a fine young man you’ve got there Zoot!

  18. How very scary, but very cool that you have raised a teenager who reacts by thinking to jump in to help.

  19. Wow. Glad everything was OK. You have such a cool kid.

    But anyway…coincidence of coincidences, we went to Bridge Street last night! I am here in H’ville visiting my sister while on the “Great RV Road Trip of ’08.” We have today and tomorrow left and then start the long drive back to CA tomorrow.

  20. I’m glad everything’s ok.

    And man. Do I ever wish I had a daughter or niece that I could have marry LilZ! What a great kid.

  21. You have done a great job with your oldest..that’s fur shur!! I always wonder when I see little ones playing too close to the fountains at the mall….

  22. How scary was that?! I can just imagine the scene in my head. Good for LilZ to act fast, even if he didn’t end up being needed. Just the fact that he made an effort to try to help…so cool. Last year at Disney World a little girl in a life jacket at the pool (baby pool, even) flipped around on her stomach and the life jacket kept her head in the water instead of lifting her up and no one saw it but me. A second before I reached her (I was on the other side of the pool) the grandmother saw her and grabbed her out of the water by the life jacket. She was fine, just very scared, as was the grandma. That will never leave my mind.

  23. One, that is so scary. Really scary and breathtaking and heartbreaking.

    Two, I think LilZ just might be my hero too. You have done an amazing job with him, seriously.

  24. Aw. Just catching up on old entries…glad the little girl was ok. I always find myself reacting to emergenices before other people too, I saw a guy get hit by a car once and I kinda took charge although I wasn’t really sure what to do, but since then I’ve done a First Aid course and studied a bit of aviation medicine so I like to think I could help out a bit better than I used to be able to, in that sort of situation now. Also, I think LilZ is my hero too.

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