“When it rains, it pours” right?
We had our wheel fly off the Excursion on the freeway a couple weeks ago.
Last week at horse-riding lessons Emily’s horse tossed her head and stopped short in such a way that Emily was thrown over the top of the horse. All the girls watching her were terrified for they saw her do a half flip in the air and land on her neck. They were sure she’d be paralyzed! Emily heard her helmet crack as she hit the ground and was immensely grateful for the thing. She did indeed land on her neck but all she suffered was a little bit of strain in it for a few days and it disappeared. We were all filled with thanks for the blessing of being spared and appreciated greatly having Emily up and walking around, riding that horse more than ever to train her better!
This week we we had a Friday night adventure that was too close for comfort!!
We were off for a fun night as a family (these are to be relished!- as the whole family together doesn’t happen on Friday that often anymore!) We decided to load up and head off to the bike path! Easy peasy right? I wish I would remember NOTHING with 10 kids is easy peasy! It all takes a LOT of EFFORT!
We cleaned up dinner then Mike drove to the barn to hitch up the trailer. He came home and loaded up the bikes with the help of a couple kids while I loaded up the Babies and all that goes with them, also with the help of a couple kids. We would have walkers, walkers with strollers, joggers, bikers, tandem bikes and bike trailers for little ones, even scooters doing the bike path together. FUN! But it took a while. And though the plan had been ride bikes from 5-7 pm, steal away for a mom&dad date from 7-9 pm or so, we were, at 7 pm, FINALLY ready to go!
We were thrilled that as we came down the hill that leads to our home we ran into my brother-in-law coming up the hill. He had his two little children with him and they had come to play! When we said where we were headed we asked ‘does Camden have his bike?”
“It’s in the back!” was the happy response.
Camden had been practicing the last couple months and had conquered his bike without training wheels! His Dad, Calton, had just taken him to practice that very afternoon again and little Camden had done a great job!! He was ready for the bike path.
So we were a happy crew heading off!
I got a little less happy as we now had to stop for air in the tires of two of the bikes. When we arrived at the gas station the air was not working so we had to head to another gas station!
In our sense of adventure we had decided to try a new trail but weren’t sure where it started so that took a few minutes more. We arrived at the ‘new trail’, found it gravel and decided the kids could ride better on pavement so we would keep driving to another spot up the road.
I was beginning to feel aggravated! Mike simply said, “We are almost there now, let’s enjoy it this beautiful night together as a family and just be grateful.”
I was feeling grumpy not grateful. But at least we had FINALLY arrived so I would try to remember to bring along a good attitude! We all piled out of the cars grabbing bikes, strollers, scooters, and little kids and started on our way.
And I was only a LITTLE grumpy when I saw the GORGEOUS sunset and realized where we were headed we would NOT be able to see it! AND only a LITTLE more stressed out when the people just leaving the path said there were a TON of bugs! (I was worried for my babies in the stroller! You know how it goes Moms!!)
Crossing the street was even more nerve-racking as a young driver came racing around the corner just as two of the little ones, the stroller and I had started to cross. I felt a more upset at this point and hoped VERY MUCH this would be a worthwhile adventure.
As I walked in the middle of the pack of children,taking in the view in front of me, little Camden, my nephew and beloved best friend to Clara, over-corrected his wheel and he slowly drew close to the edge of the path. He had slowed and seemed he would be safe, but he did not stop in time and his wheel went off the path onto the gravel beside it. I yelled his name, hoping he would stop! But before my call carried to him, he was in trouble, for his front wheel had gone right over the edge of the steep embankment and suddenly I saw that his whole bike with him on it was following!
I yelled again, wishing my yell could stop his bike, then wishing harder that he would fall immediately. Being a novice rider naturally, SURELY he would fall! And he would be hurt by rolling a couple feet down the gravel, but better than barreling down it on his bicycle!!
As his bike QUICKLY picked up speed I wanted to scream “FALL OFF CAMDEN!!” but it was already too late, he was FROZEN in perfect balance on that bike, aimed straight down that hill, going faster and faster and faster!!
His Dad, my brother-in-law, yelled louder and harder now than I could and took off from behind me in a diagonal direction, leaping faster and stronger than an elk, wishing, like all of us, to stop little Camden, but knowing, like all of us, there was NO getting to him in time! Camden was at racing speed now!
At that moment I prayed so hard it was a spiritual YELL from within, “PLEASE! SAVE HIM!!”
My husband took off down the hill after Calton to help however he could.
We all stood, absolutely still, mortified, watching as four year old Camden disappeared full speed into the thick brush that hid his fate.
Was it rocks, river, retaining wall at the bottom? None of us knew what awaited him, except that it looked absolutely like a head first collision at life-threatening speeds!
We waited. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing.
There was no sound. Camden had disappeared, then Calton, then Mike close behind him, and nothing.
Ahhh, the horror. Amazing how long a minute can be.
Then… a grueling, angry cry!
He was crying, he was angry, this was a very good sign to me. He was alive, and well enough to feel mad!
We waited, how can one moment seem like eternity??
The brush stirred. I expected Calton carrying Camden, Mike close behind them but here came Camden out of the dark hole in the bush he had made crashing through it. I mean, out STOMPED Camden. He was mad.
He saw us all on the hill staring at him and he stopped any crying immediately. I scanned his body thoroughly. No scratch, not a scratch, just white as a ghost.
He came up the hill all on his own. I knew I was witnessing a miracle.
Calton finally emerged from the brush with the bike in one hand hooping and hollering at what an amazing a rider Camden was!- I believe that was in hopes that Camden wouldn’t be scared for life.
As Camden drew close to the top I cried out, opening my arms to him, “Oh, Camden! We were so scared!” Camden came into my arms and we both cried together, tears and sobs for a moment. “Oh, Camden, I am so grateful Heavenly Father protected you.”
A jogger had come up upon our scene and I’m sure had no idea what had happened and heard me sob and say it but I didn’t care in the least.
I got up, trembling still, and Camden’s Dad collected him and wisely asked him to get back on the bike. (We all know the first thing you do when a horse bucks you off is get back on, for your own sake as well as for the horse!)
A well of gratitude came springing up inside me (you know the gratitude that I’d been missing earlier!) and I felt soooo deeply grateful for a peaceful, beautiful night, a simple walk with my family.
(AND I called my Mom later to say THANKS, because she ALWAYS prays for the safety of her family!!)
The international gathering for the Little League World Series was kicked off here in our city last night, beginning with the traditional Little League parade where the 16 teams that made it to Worlds march down historic 4th Street amongst all their family and friends and the world to cheer them on!!
Rumor or not we do not know, but it was spread that there where some bombs planted along the route. In lieu of the Boston Marathon bombings of course such a rumor, or threat, is taken a little more seriously than it ever used to be. Though it may be hearsay, my children told me this morning there had been some bombs found and 5 people arrested for planting them.
I do NOT know if this is true, (so don’t go spread rumors) but as I drove out along the parade route this morning (yesterday it had been covered with chairs even hours and hours before the race) and looked out over the peaceful Susquehanna River, I was deeply GRATEFUL for common SAFETY and PEACE!
I suppose it is good that we have those moments that are far ‘too close for comfort’ so that we can recognize more completely just how treasured those regular, daily moments of safety and peace ought to be!
Health, Family, Friends, Beautiful Days, Time, Safety, Peace! Take a moment to appreciate those blessed moments for you and your loved ones! Celebrate SAFETY and PEACE (& so many more wonderful things to be GRATEFUL for) in YOUR FAMILY today!!!