Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Danger! Crash! Bang! Boom!

It's really unbelievable that just a few months ago Jack was a chubby blob content to sit on your lap all the live long day. Truthfully, that's when him and Uncle Eli bonded like they did, and now it's true love forever. Between Gabe, a first born conservative rule follower, and Max, a first born conservative rule follower, I've always been able to send them off to play without any fear or hesitation. One will always tell on the other, one will always have a streak of caution rise up when needed, and they will obey all the rules... well except the be kind to your brother all the time... but that's a hard one for all of us! So between all of these factors, the ways of Jack are just never what I expect. I am never prepared and my heart won't ever beat steadily again.

On Saturday, I experienced a type of fear that I have never experienced in my life. It has led to numerous streaks of heart racing, hyperventilating, and crying... for both me and Max. I also felt the Lord's protection in a way I never had-- I just keep saying thank you Lord, thank you. Because this could've ended very differently. I could be telling a very different story.

I got Max up from his nap just minutes before he and I were heading out to pick up Gabe from his Mom. Max was dying to go because 48 hours without Gabe leaves him a little befuddled, and there were promises of picking out donuts and a cookie cake for Gabe's friend birthday party that would take place later that day. I realized on my way to the garage that my car was out of gas, so we decided to take Chad's truck, which was parked on the lower driveway so that he could unload some stuff into his man garage. I went to grab Jack some shoes and socks after telling Chad that Jack had to be watched like a hawk down there because of the retaining wall in the neighbors yard. I knew Jack would try to convince Chad that they should play outside after we left and Chad is easy when it comes to Jack... so my bets were on the outside play :)

Within minutes, we were all down on the bottom driveway. Jack was in the Cozy Coupe, Max was standing in front of him for fear that he'd drive away, Chad was unloading his truck, and I was making sure Max's seat was hooked into the truck properly. After about a minute, Jack had climbed out of the car, so I grabbed Max, Jack's personal protector and safety patrol, and put him in his seat, thinking that all was well... at least while I got Max buckled . I called out to Chad that I needed keys and he ran to grab them because neither of us thought to bring them down. He was back in a hot second, and climbed in the back seat to hand me the keys and snuggle the completely non-snuggly Max as is their tradition. It was at the second that I heard a noise...

Jack was in the Cozy Coupe hurdling down the ramp- he was picking up speed and heading straight for the wall. I screamed in terror, a sound that I'm quite sure I have never made before, just shouting "Chaddddddd"-- and then it happened. I watched him hit the edge of the wall and flip over and fall all the way down. He landed upside down. It felt like hours before I got to him-- being pregnant and huge I had to climb down the easy way. Chad had scrambled from the truck and jumped down the wall and got to Jack before I could get there. Jack was still inside the car. And he was fussing. We carefully got him out-- relieved that he was alive, but fearful of the state of his neck and back, among all his other parts.

Here is the garage and the ramp where he began...
He went across the sloped driveway, gaining speed...
He hit the edge of the wall and flipped over...
And plummeted down... that pile of leaves is where we found him. 
Here is a picture of Gabe below with arm up over his head... not even close to the top of the wall, to demonstrate how far Jack fell. 
The wall is taller than the monster truck tire (neighbors have weird hobbies?!?) and much taller than me as well.
Miraculously, Jack was completely fine, only showing us a little red spot on his finger. But the rest of us will never be the same. It took me a good hour to settle down-- battling between Hallelujah's and tears. Max was hysterical too. Although he was buckled in the truck, he knew exactly what had happened. But my thoughts haven't stopped haunting me yet. It is the first time I have truly feared death for one of my children-- and I watched it all happen completely helpless. It plays in my mind all the time, and still causes my adrenaline to surge. Chad later shared that all he could think about is broken bones. He was praying that everything was intact. I am so thankful for the Lord's protection over Jack- I am so thankful that he is still with us with no broken bones. And more than anything, I am so thankful for the wake up call. He isn't like the other boys. He's only going to get more adventurous and more inquisitive. And he's only 1... we've got a lifetime to go of this!

About an hour later, Chad sent me a text that as I as a pulled away, Jack hopped on the Mickey Mouse scooter and tried to ride down the ramp again. Chad was standing right there, not letting our precious boy out of his arm's reach, but still crazy nonetheless. Chad ended the text with "Sam!!" as in my brother who has lived a life of crazy ideas and thankfully has learned to bounce. Since then... like as in ONLY 3 days ago, while he's been sick and "under the weather" he's decided to start playing with the plug under his crib when he wakes up... hello electricity. And I just found him standing up on the desk digging in the vitamins.

I can't let this boy out of my sight for a moment. It is worth the time to take every precaution and purchase every safety device. We will be getting a fence for the side of the house, and Jack will be locked in places more times than he's going to like... when I shower, I shut him in the bathroom with me, literally. He's always going to need the safety belt, he's always going to need to have an adult watching him, and I'm so glad I got the chance to learn this over a terribly fearfully horrid yet uneventful situation. I'm so grateful that this is our story.

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