Two weeks ago, on the 7th of September, we had some friends over to roast hotdogs and marshmallows.
I was at the top of the hill near the fire, visiting with the parents while the kids ran about.
Some were clustered, as is the usual habit, around the tire swing. It’s a main attraction at our house.
Paul and I even joke about how we bought the house just for the tire swing.
Last spring the girls figured out how to climb the rope – all the way to the branch above.
Em was the first – cute little monkey.
Dot, never to be outdone by a younger sister, was close behind.
Lizy never quite figured it out.
So, this evening, Emily wanted to demonstrate her rope climbing prowess to her friends.
She hopped on the tire and started to shimmy up the rope.
She didn’t get to far when a resounding
echoed across the lawn and neighborhood.
I looked down the hill and saw Em slumped on the ground.
I raced to her.
She couldn’t breathe and she looked terrified.
I was terrified.
Terrified it was all happening again.
But, then, Paul showed up,
“It takes a minute to get your breathe back when the wind’s been knocked out of you.”
Oh yeah. I knew that. I relaxed and focussed on helping Em take long deep breathes.
Once she got her breath back we had her slowly move all her limbs.
She was fine.
(Even played in her soccer game the next day)
It suddenly dawned on me that the branch had broken and should really be on top of her (it was a hefty branch too).
I saw it laying at least a foot to the right.
I looked at Emily.
I was so GRATEFUL.
Grateful that the branch broke before Emily had gotten too high. Grateful the branch didn’t land on her or anyone else. Grateful that she was unhurt – a little shocked and scared maybe – but unhurt.