Saturday, September 11, 2010
Danny's first field trip -- all that we hoped for and unfortunately more...
Yesterday was Danny’s first field trip. He and about 40 other three and four year olds got to ride on a big old school bus to an apple orchard about 45 minutes from school. I was one of the 10 or so parents who came along to help. It was so much fun to watch the kids fill their little plastic bags with apples on such a gorgeous day.
But this magical day was transformed in an instant when suddenly everyone began shouting.
I keep trying to keep all the details straight in my mind but this is what I remember.
Some of the kids had climbed up onto a Utility Farm Vehicle. It’s basically a tricked out large motorized golf cart. It looked like this one without the roll bars on top.
I was standing a few feet in front of it taking pictures and there were kids all around us just milling about and enjoying their apples.
When the shouting started I turned to see that the cart was now rolling. It was on a slight slope and was slowly rolling down with the kids on it. One of them had accidentally popped the brake.
It happened so fast.
I ran about two steps forward and putting my hands on the hood first, tried to stop it from rolling but I just couldn’t. It was too heavy a machine. By now the other adults were racing over.
I dropped down (or maybe I was pushed down?) and I jammed my foot up against a bar that ran parallel to the front axle and pushed with every ounce of my being.
You see, as I dropped down I realized a child was under the vehicle.
And it was my child.
Danny had been standing between me and the cart and had been pushed down. I had no idea! I could now see in that instant that he was on his back crying and terrified. I had no idea if he's already been injured or not.
Now I don’t know about any of that superhuman strength stuff. And I don’t know if the others had arrived and we all stopped it or if my jammed up foot had temporarily stopped it.
All I knew was that I could clearly see that the back axle of that Utility Vehicle was much lower than the front. So if Danny hadn’t already been injured, he was going to be very badly injured in milliseconds if the cart kept rolling.
Through the grace of God it came to a stop. Then all of the parents and teachers literally lifted the cart up in the air—maybe 6- 10 inches off the ground. There was some confusion as some thought that I was the one trapped under the vehicle because at least people could see me. I think many were stunned to realize a child was under there.
I remember thinking that we shouldn’t move him if he was injured, but also that we needed to get him out. One parent dropped down and pulled him to the side next to the cart and I crawled over to him.
He got onto my lap and I asked for emergency medical assistance. We didn’t move until the paramedics arrived, and with no visible injuries asked me to just observe him and get him into our doctor if necessary. All I could think the whole time was "thank you Jesus, thank you Jesus".
The other kids had gone on the school bus to a picnic area and we were later able to rejoin the group.
I’m not sure how much more my heart can take, but I realized a few things.
1. For the first time ever I was pretty darn happy I weigh about 180. If that’s what it took to help in any way to stop that vehicle, I am very happy.
2. Thank God for the other parents and teacher. They were right there and helped in so many ways.
3. I feel such an INCREDIBLE sense of gratefulness to God that Danny was okay. I can’t stop playing over the “what if” scenarios. Burned, mangled… I must stop this. And...
4. My love for Danny--there are no words to describe it. I’m just so grateful that someone—me, anybody really, was standing right in front of that cart when it began rolling.
He got lots of extra hugs and kisses yesterday. -Monica