I knew the weekend was going to be busy, I just didn’t know how many times I would be reminded of how fleeting everything can be. One little innocuous second can change everything.
The school book fair went as smoothly as we could have wished, I was busy painting faces, while Evan piled up every single book that had ever or will ever possibly in any way interest him. So we of course had the “you must choose” talk, along with the “you can’t have everything, and even if you could, where would you put it” conversation.
Sunday, we went to the Junior Elementary Social at one of the parents’ homes. They are so amazing this couple, so gracious, and generous. There is a pool, a tree house (or rather platform), a bounce house, a play set with a playhouse and innumerable things for kids to do.
Several of the men were holding court back near the bounce house, under a spreading Mango tree, apparently out of line of sight with the tree house.
I was watching the tree house from under the Chickee and saw Evan climbing the ladder, and the child on top of the platform hit him with, of all things, a plastic boat oar. Sigh. I start to get up, and see Evan backing down the ladder, so I relax, and turn to the conversation again, only for a moment. Next thing I know, Evan is running to me hysterical, that he had tried once more to get to the platform and the same child had hit him hard with the oar. One of the other dads, bless his heart, found out what the deal was, and confiscated said weapon. All I could think was I am so glad Evan didn’t fall. It’s a long way down. Men are still holding court, oblivious.
OK, Evan is fine, in the bounce house, I hear loudness, see way too many boys in the bounce house, junior testosterone is approaching dangerous levels, and I arrive just in time to see a child push Evan hard into yet a third. I called time out, got the more rambunctious ones out, whereby they headed for the pool. Sigh. Yep, Man Court is still is session, right next to the bounce house.
Evan and pals in the pool, Evan and one friend wrestling over the oar. Where did that damn thing come from again? Friend shoving Evan to the bottom of the pool using feet, hands, whatever. I see Evan start to -ever so slightly- panic, I reached in, grabbed the friend, Evan came up on the end of the oar, and explained that we do not drown our friends over a plastic oar. Man Court, I am relieved to see, is still intact. Yes that was sarcastic.
Standing near the pool now, watching like a hawk, I notice a child floating, sort of sideways, no motion that I can see, I take a step, and the next one will take me into the pool, when his mother, in her dress and shoes and all, goes flying into the pool, grabs him. He was just playing. He should be an actor. His mother is a hero in my book, when she realized he was fine, no yelling, no anger, just big hugs and lots of love. She’s an all time great mother, one of the very best. Save first -ask questions later. Man Court – is drifting towards the house, I guess they were bored.
There were more incidents, events and occurances, broken picture frame- casualty of a sword fight, skinned knees, heads butts, etc etc . Truly nothing unusual. I was exhausted, and frazzled a bit.
An hour or so later, on the way to a boy scout leader meeting , I came across an accident that had just happened, an overturned SUV, on a lonely road. Another car had stopped -a police officer and his wife it turned out. The officer was cradling the victim in the grass, by the cow fence, trying to limit his mobility and provide some encouragement. I asked the wife if she needed anything further, no, she said, calls had been made, services were on the way, and it looked bad, really bad. I got out of the way. I passed the ambulances, fire engines, 6 or 7 squad cars. The hair on my arms was standing up. The road was still closed off when I went to return home.
It only takes a second, one moment of inattentiveness, one small slip. We cannot possibly prevent all ‘those seconds’ from happening. Rather cherish every single second you do have, choose contentment over victimhood. Choose love over control.
I am so grateful for all the seconds I have had, with my family, mother, husband, son, brother. I am so very grateful that once in a while, I am reminded of how tenuous our existence is. It enables me to me grateful; it enables me to clear my heart for what is truly important.