Monday, April 29, 2013

Bubbles goes the way of Bug.......

Sadly over the years you hear about small children that get way from their parents supervision in rural areas and drown.  It is always a horrible loss and the loss unimaginable.  It is not new and it probably will always happen and has for millennium.  I personally know of a family that this has happened to in two different generations.  The family is not abnormal, they love their children, as we all do, and both were pure accidents that caused unaccountable sorrow and pain.  This last year in Montana I can recall at least two occasions were toddlers wondered away and drown in ponds near their homes.  People hear of these sad losses and say "How does that happen? Where were the parents? There must be neglect. This doesn't happen if you are taking care of your child.  Why does this happen at all?"  I am here to tell you that in rural Montana, probably other places as well but I have no personal knowledge of other places, it does happen to loving careful caring families.  These incidents are not crimes, they are not acts of negligent parents, these are parents that like other parents lost a child in the country for a moment in time and just didn't get as lucky as their neighbor.  Have you ever spent time with a toddler in the country, on a farm, camping or just playing in their yard?  I have an I am one of the ones that got lucky, more than once.

My first incidents of Gods grace, and of his holding my child in his arms in a case like this, was in the fall of 1984.  I had just had Mokie, she was 11 days old, it was late October, Bug was 22 months old he wanted to go out and play in the yard.  I was at my mom's, which was next door to our house, I let him go out with his little sled and his dog Buddy, a Doxie.  I could see them from the big picture window in the front room.  They played and ran around the yard, Bug threw snow balls at the snowman in the yard where the green grass peaked through the early snow.  The baby cried so I breast feed her and changed her diaper, which took about 10 minutes time.  I looked out the window to check on Bug, his dog and his snow play.  He was gone.  I gave the baby to my mom and went out to check on him.  He was not in the yard anywhere and it was a very large yard, albeit not fenced all around.  I called him and called him, no answer.  I then heard a crying sound.  I looked over the bank of the property, 20 feet down was an old road that was no longer used and 30 feet below that was another bank, across the flat about 60 feet or so where the bank drops down about 100 feet stood my 22 month old.  He was crying not because he was cold or worried where momma was, really, but because he was standing on a patch of ice at the edge of a cliff in his eyes.  His feet were on the ice and if he moved them they slid and he could see that the bank drop was where he would go if he slid.  I went crazy, I ran down the first bank, and fell, I caught my pants on a stick in the bank.  My mom came to the edge of the yard, with the baby and asked if I found Bug.  I said "yes but I fell and caught my pants on a stick."  Well I tried to get my pants off of the stick and there was much more than the pants caught on the stick.  I told her I caught my leg on the stick.  I pulled it off ran across the road down the bank across the flat and grabbed my son.  He hugged me and pointed at the bank, as if to say "see what could have happened."  I took him up the bank and went to the DR, I got 30 stitches in my leg, funny it never hurt, well until about 2 years later when all of a sudden the nerves seemed to come to life one day, reminded me of the incident all over again.  I was not a negligent parent, I just turned away for a moment in time and he was gone.  The cliff like bank or the creek at the bottom of it were both possible deaths for my son but unapparent dangers we had never really though of.  Did any of the parents that lost a child in a subdivision think that that pond a quarter mile down the road was in their child realm? NO.

Bubbles spent the day playing with her siblings and cousins on Saturday.  She came and got hugs from Nannie and Poppie over the garden fence.  She played in the goat pen, chased the duck, the goose and squeezed the cat that didn't want her love in the yard.  She giggled at the piglets as all the kids played around her.  The rode their bikes up and down the driveway.  Caught newts in the pond, played in the tree house that doesn't have a tree.  Poppie and Nannie worked in the garden, Son built on his boar pen, and Mokie was making dinner.  Soon Mokie came out to call the kids in to dinner.  No Bubbles.  She wasn't in the goat pen, she wasn't chasing duck and geese, or pestering kitties, she wasn't catching newts or hanging from the playhouse steps.  She was gone.  Mokie checked her back yard, no Bubbles, she checked over the bank (Mokie and Son live on the property I did when the kids were little so same banks).  She went across the road and there was our Bubbles climbing merrily up the 30 foot bank, we have no idea if she had gone across the flat to look down the 100 ft bank to view the creek or not.  She was happy as a clam chattered at mom and waved.  She had been on an adventure, must have been channeling Uncle Bug,  heaven forbid.   He never could stay in the yard, shortly after the bank incidents he climbed to the top of a 70 foot bull pine tree.  Poppie had to climb up and get him down.  Lets all pray the Bubbles is not as he was, but I am thinking we are already to late, she has never done anything at anyone's pace but her own.  She walked at nine months, began speaking in sentences, small yes, but sentences none the less.  She is an adventurer with trails to blaze and country to discover, glad it is not me this time, I couldn't raise another Bug, I just don't have the strength.  Say, I am not sure I have the strength to even have to watch Bubbles in the short term....hmmm.

My conclusion is that accidents happen, more times than not good loving careful parent get lucky and once in awhile a tragedy occurs, no one is really to blame and a lifetime of what "if's" can't change the outcome of one moment in time.  I pray that you never have to endure the outcome of a toddlers adventures.  I hope the Lord blesses your day, you life and your eternity with his Grace.... tomorrow.  

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