We Can Be Heroes...
First, if you haven't already. Go read my interview with Thomas. Seriously, it's damn good. Second, Click here to see your Genghis get a taste of his own medicine. ............................................................
Saturady afternnon me and my roommate decided to go swimming at this lake in the nothwest part of the state. it was about an hour away, but well worth it. The place is beautiful. It's a private swimming hole, reserved for the residents of the town.
Anyways, we we get there and the first thing we see is this water snake right at the opening of the pond. John (my roomie) almost didn't come in, while I, viewer of too many 'crocidile hunter" episodes, tried to catch the fucker.
Anyways, we swam for about an hour, and then came out to dry off. As we were drying off, this caravan pulled up. This large lady emerged, followed by what seemed to be an infinate ammount of rugrats. I immediately noticed how ill taken care of these kids were. They were all clinging onto some sort of McDonalds something-or-other. Child abuse in itself. But what struke me was the two youngest, of the six kids were coming towards the lake, on the gravel road without any shoes on. Something unpleasant for a grownup. Anyways, I counted 6 kids. The four oldest kids seemed to range between 10 and 6. Two boys, two girls. The two youngenst were about 2, and 1. Both girls.
Anyways, I thought about hopping in the car when I saw the white-trash brady bunch come, but decided to sit on a rock for a bit and dry off before we got back into my car. And thank God I did!
As we were sitting on the rock, I overheard the momma give out the instructions for the kids The usual "don't swim past the rope, no fighting, no rough playing" she seemed liked a caring mother, despite the crap she feeds them, so she won a couple of points from me. I heard the 6 year old girl ask about the one year old (Who I think is named "Fiona") if she's gonna' go in the water. The mother replied that Fiona never goes in the water, never, ever. She's afraid. I was watching Fiona and noticed how she wouldn't let her eyes off the water. I made note to myself to keep and eye on her, and from that moment on I put her on 15 second checks.
Me and John started making small talk with the mom. John commented on one of the boys swimming accesseries, which consisted of a shark fin hat, and fins that went over his hands. She told us that the fins were actually squirtguns, and after about 9 attempts, finally got her son's attention to show them off to us, to our applause.
While all that was going on, I checked by in with my little friend, who put down her McDonalds drink, and made a gallant dash towards the water. She ran straight in, fell forward, and couldn't get up. She was stuck with her head underwater. I remember John saying "what the fuck?" as I was pushing him away to get in the water. I reach the kid about 15 seconds after she was underwater. I picked her up, turned her around, and noticed the firsst good news that her face wasn't blue. She was choking and gasping for air. Good sign numcber two, no cpr that I didn't know would be needed.
The kid and I looked at each other with a shoked look on our faces, when she began to wail. When the crying started, the mother noticed me, holding up her baby and got hysterical. "OH MY GOD! Fiona!" I brought her in "She's OK. I guess she's over her fear of the water." The mom grabbed her daughter and asked a thousand times if she was alright. The kid was hysterical, the mom was hysterical, John was dumbfounded, and the kids were hoping they wouldn't be called from the water.
I did my best to keep everybody calm. the more the mom got upset, the more the baby did. It was a mess. She said "Oh thank you so much, thank God you were here! What if you weren't here?" I repied "I am here. Don't think about what might of happened. She's OK" She went on "I was watching "x" (her second youngest) at the time, I couldn't see Fiona! Oh thank God!" She informed her 5 other kids that everybody is to watch Fiona, nobody takes their eyes off her.
Me and John got our stuff and headed out. As we were leaving, she thanked me a thousand more times. Her husband came (with yet ANOTHER kid) as we were walking back to my car, and she said to him "that man just saved Fiona's life!" to which he responded with a mudane "thanks." Hmm, maybe he didn't understand the seriousness, or maybe this type of shit happens all the time with 7 kids, who knows. I wasn't loooking for a hug.
After we got in the car and started driving, John, out of nowhere says "Jesus Jon, you saved that kid's life!" I started thinking about it then, without having to settle anyone down I could think about it objectively. Like what WOULD of happened if I wasn't there. What if I decided that I didn't want to drive an hour to go swimming? What if we left right when they came like I was thinking? The mother wasn't in a possition to see the child. There was a big boulder in the way. As far as the other kids, they were out a little ways, and were oblivious to anything else that was going on near the shore. When i got to the kid, she wasn't even struggling anymore, she was just ....still. But, on the plus side, I thought that maybe if we weren't there, the mother would of camped out on the other side of the boulder, were we were at the time , and would of had been one step behind when the kid made the dash. I don't know. i didn't want to think about it really.
When we got home, my pal Sean called. Sean is the father of a 6 year old girl. John answered the phone and said to him "your friend is a hero' and told him the story. When John handed the phone to me, Sean said "I love you, Jon." I replied by telling him I love the mpegs I have of him mom on the computer, and he said "No. Jon. I'm not kidding. I have a daughter and since the moment I was told I was gonna be a father I've feared what almost happened to that kid's parents. You don't know how great you are."
I feel REAL uncomfortable when I tell my friend I have Mpegs of his mom, and he says he loves me.
When i went to sleep something hit me. What I did today could have been the most important thing I've ever done in my life.