Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Christmas Sprint

Santa Claus came to our town last weekend and LO was more than excited to sit in his lap and chat.  She brought him a few Post-its she had drawn on as a present and declared that for Christmas she wanted a tree, ornaments, a nutcracker and toys.  Funny what a difference a year makes because last year she was terrified of the big man.

What's significant about this picture also is what happened before it.  I took LO to the tree lighting ceremony with some friends in our village.  The ceremony was on a triangular patch of land in the village center off of Sunset Boulevard.  The tree lit up, everyone was amazed and the crowd of little children enjoyed running circles around the tree.  LO's neighbor friend was there and the two of them were delighted to play together.  I looked up for a second as one of the parents spoke to me, then I looked over and saw LO and her friend running out of our area.  His father shouted to him and I shouted to LO to stop as we ran after them.  LO, however, is a runner.  This kid is destined to become a track and field star given the way she can sprint.  Never has she been the type to hold our hands and just walk with us; she's always darting in whatever direction she can.

LO heard me shout and took that as a cue to run away FASTER.  She rounded a corner, putting hedges in between her and busy Sunset Blvd. and everyone else.  I was in full sprint and would just be able to reach her in the nick of time if I was quick enough.  I felt myself slip and that moment while I was falling seemed to last forever as I watched helplessly as she kept going away from me, toward the busy street.  There was nothing I could do but hope she had the sense to stop.  I hit the ground HARD, flat on my face but still with my eye on LO.  She didn't stop at the street -- she turned right and headed toward another intersection!

I don't know about you, but this was the stuff of my nightmares playing out for real.  What flashed through my mind as I fell was how I would scoop her up out of the street and take the hit, but I'd have to quickly lift her up high enough to keep her away from the impact.  As soon as I hit the ground, I got right back up, rounded the corner and, from what they tell me, I wiped out again.  This time as I fell, I got a hand on LO and knocked her down with me.  Finally, the toddler train stopped.  She was fine, just a little scratch on her elbow and a lot of tears.  My knees are pretty banged up but I don't care.  It was a teachable moment and I'm thankful it turned out the way it did.  Next time I'll be wearing my running shoes.