“Can I go to the creek, grandma?”
“No, I don’t think that’s a good idea,” I said, thinking of the possible danger.
The creek runs through a grassy field across the street from my house. I know it is over there, but I had never paid much attention to it except from a distance until my grandson found out about it from other kids.
My daughter intervened. She thought it was better to let a child satisfy his curiosity. “There is a natural attraction between boys and water. If he knows he can go with an adult, then he won’t try to go by himself,” she reasoned. That seemed to make sense.
The next evening, he decided he wanted to go to the creek again and since he is not allowed to go by himself, she went with him. About dark he came in crying, saying he didn’t know where my daughter was.
“It’s mommy,” he sobbed, “She dropped her lighter and went back to look for it. I don’t know where she is. I think she fell in the creek and hit her head on a rock.”
Of course, I was in a panic when I heard this. “Show me where you were!” I exclaimed. We crossed the street and ran through the large grassy field as fast as a grandma with bad knees could run. It was much further than it looked from the other side of the street.
“Mommy, Mommy, where are you?” called my grandson.
“Did you see her fall?”
“No, but she didn’t come back!”
We finally reached the creek. “Good grief, that thing isn’t a creek, it’s a baby river!” I didn’t know it was that big! We climbed down the bank onto a big rock and peered into the darkness. By now it was pitch dark and we couldn’t see a thing.
“Go back and get the flashlight, honey. I’ll stay here and look for her.”
I was scrambling over tree roots and large rocks, calling and calling, but was unable to see anything except dark water. I couldn’t tell how deep it was. Then I suddenly stepped on an uneven spot and turned my ankle, falling down.
I decided to go back home and call 911.
As I limped back to the house, I saw two flashlights coming toward me across the field. As I got closer I saw that it was my daughter with my grandson.
“Where were you?” I asked my daughter. “We thought you fell in the creek.” She had gone back home and we had missed seeing her in the dark.
Naturally, I was beginning to feel pretty foolish by then. My ankle was throbbing, probably sprained, and I had scrapped my other leg, which was turning black and blue.
So, my daughter didn’t fall – I did. I didn’t hit my head on a rock. It was my leg.
However, I’m not allowed to go to the creek by myself any more.
Copyright 2005 Sheila Moss