Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Part 1

A few years ago, six, an almost tragic event happened on our block. I was asked to write my version of it five years ago and every year since. Now, I think, I'm ready to write it. But first let me say that I'm not sure how to write this and when I told Dave I was going to write this he made a grunt noise and said do you really want to revisit that? Also, I tend to blow things off like they were nothing when actually they are very serious. Kinda like laughing at a funeral or crying and hysterically laughing at your fathers wedding to the woman who broke up your parents marriage. So here goes, please feel free to put your input in on how to make it acceptable for history. Also, I will use the swear words that pop in and out of my mouth here but will change them before turning a real copy in. And maybe you guys will think it sucks the big one and I should just keep blowing everyone off for another six years. Please tell me that to. Here goes...

We had been in our new home about six weeks. It was New Year's Eve Day, 2002. I had got up early with Dave while he was getting ready for work. As he left the house I told him the usual I love you and he said the usual I love you to. The girls all got up shortly after that and our day started to progress.
About 9:30 our oldest daughter Kadie said she was going to go sledding at Ben's house. I had just lay Mimi, our youngest, down for a nap. She and Chrissy just had birthdays and turned 2 and 4. I asked Kadie to bring Chrissy with her. More like begged. I had some more cleaning to do and I wanted everything nice for when Dave got home. Kadie finally said okay and I started getting the girls ready. It is not a big production normally but we had just moved from Florida. Kadie had only seen snow one other time and this was Chrissy's first experience with it. So as I bundled them up I regaled them with sledding tales from when I was young. Kadie didn't give a rat's ass, she just wanted to go and Chrissy was to young to care. I reminded Chrissy to listen to Kadie and I reminded Kadie to be a good big sister. It was about 10:15am.

I had met the neighbors, where the kids were going, a few times and they were very nice people so I wasn't worried that my kids were going to slide down a hill that led to the river. Actually that thought didn't even cross my mind. All I was thinking about was getting the kids the hell out of the house for a few hours.

About 11:30am I was vacuuming and Mimi had just woke up and was sitting on the couch. I was in the hall when Kadie came in with Chrissy. Chrissy was all wet and it seemed like all the kids were carrying her. With her was Ben, Michael, who is Ben's younger brother, and Jordan our other neighbor. They all had funny looks on their faces and Kadie blurts out Chrissy went in the water. What? I say. Oh, okay, no big deal. Let us get her out of these wet clothes and into the tub. I say, Kadie go start the water. As I'm stripping Chrissy the boys are staring at me and I'm you know, La LA LA my kids all wet. Duh. I wonder aloud, where are her new boots? We couldn't find them once they got off her feet one of the boys answer softly. I didn't have time to process that because Kadie comes from the bathroom and is really crying. The water burned me she cried. What? I say and grab Chrissy and head for the bathroom. I stick my hand in the water and it's so cold that I yank my hand out fast. It's cold, I say and really take a look at Kadie. I notice her pants are wet and ask why. She said she tried to get Chrissy and couldn't. I'm still not getting it. I tell Kadie to get out of her wet clothes and go play. By this time she's looking at me like I've two heads and said," Are you sure? "

Chrissy, until now, hasn't said a word. Her little face was blue and she was shivering. I mean really shivering. I decide to forgo the bath and bundle her up. I put her in my bed and give her hot cocoa to drink. I called my sister and told her I thought Chrissy had been playing by the water and slipped in. My sister immediately tells me to take her to the E.R. I just blow it off.

About noon a knock sounds at the door. Still all the kids are at the house, I'm in PJ's and I think Damn It, I'll never get this place picked up.

Okay, this is all I have for right this minute. I keep wanting to write what I now know and not what I did knowthen. I need to think some more on this one. PLEASE PLEASE feel free to comment.

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Auds at Barking Mad said...

Just from what you've written, I got the chills.

I think I know where you're going with this and the thought of something like that happening to the little imp, or ANY of my kids (my oldest goes to St. Joe's out in Standish, right on that damned Sebago Lake...I'm forever worrying about her getting on a snow mobile and heading across what they think is the frozen lake....I can't even finish the sentence!)...

I don't know what to say.

I do know that my heart is thumping wildly in my chest though...for you and for all the other moms who will read this.

Stacy D. Briefing said...

My heart too is thumping out of my chest! I'm so scared for something you experienced years ago. I think you are a strong individual to revisit the experience. Is it proving to be cathartic or a journey down a road you'd rather not go down again? Can your story help out another child and prevent something like this from happening again? Those would be the deciding factors for me. Your writing style is fantastic though!

FishermansDaughter said...


As soon as I read, "by the river" my blood ran cold.

The only thing that allowed me to continue to read was what you wrote in the beginning - a NEAR tragedy.

Can't wait to read the rest, even though just thinking about it makes me queasy.


KimberlyDi said...

I'm a bit confused. Obviously something happened. No one told you what happened. You don't have ESP so don't be hard on yourself for not immediately guessing what happened.

So, now tell me what happened.