Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Bumbles Bounce, But So Do Grandchildren

I feel that I need to set the record straight regarding an event that took place over seven years ago. Different versions of the event have been bantered about by some parties and I think that I should tell the story behind the event as it really happened. Once and for all the truth, as truth does, will come out.

I did not "throw" my grandson out the second floor window of our house on the morning of Sunday, July 14th, 2002, as has been told in various venues and pulpits.

Okay, he did drop out of the window and fall twelve feet. But it wasn't my fault.

Here is the story behind the lies that have been told regarding this incident.

On July 13, 2002, one of my four granddaughter's was born. The "Girlie". Sugar and spice, everything nice. Since Mom was still in the hospital and Grandma chose to stay the night with her, I was asked to tend to the needs of my 21-month old grandson, the "Chanman". All boy, with a bit of slugs and snails, and puppy dog tails. We had a sleepover.

The other characters in this little play were my three sons, ages 19, 16, and 14. For most of this event they were asleep. Not that unusual, they were always sleeping.

Many of you have had the same type of morning that I had on July 14th. Lazy Sunday, coming off of a very natural high, the birth of a child. I got to cut the cord. First time, big thrill. A little girl to spoil.

The Chanman and I were having the only kind of fun that a Papa and his grandson could have. We slept in, woke up and watched cartoons, goofing off, there was tickling involved, lots of laughter. There was a point when everyone, that is, everyone that was awake, got hungry. I informed the Chanman that I was going to the kitchen to fix us some breakfast. Later in the day we were going to the hospital to see the Girlie, after that we were going to my companies picnic at Wild Waves, the local water park.

I went to the kitchen, started working on something to eat that the kid would eat. After a few minutes I heard him calling my name. Since I was at a point that I could break away from cooking I went in to see what he wanted. He was hiding. Well, at least that is what I thought he was doing. His voice was faint, he must be in the closet?


Under the bed?


That is when I noticed that the window screen was gone. Our bed was situated next to the window.

There is a moment in time, the moment in a good or a bad situation, where you suddenly "get it". For some it's the moment between the proposal and the realization that it's a proposal. For others, the glow in her face, the moment that realize that you're going to be a father.

For me, it was the moment that I realized that he'd gone out the window, from 12' up. And he was calling my name. "Papa, Papa!"

It is just a theory but I'm betting that you have never in your life seen a man move so fast and scream so loud, simultaneously in your lifetime. I screamed so loud that I woke up the three boys who were sleeping. I flew down the stairs, ripped open the front door and bolted out of the house into the front yard. I rushed into the side yard and there he was, toddling toward me, wearing only a diaper, crying, holding out his arms to me. I grabbed him, held him close and brought him into the house.

I don't know how long I held him, comforting him. I do know this. I had never before, and never since, felt as bad as I did at that moment.

We had plans to go up and meet his little sister. I left the Chanman in the care of his uncles while I went to take a shower. After all, it was a miracle. He had some dirt on his diaper, he completely missed the lava rock landscaping that I had installed to keep the weeds away. The best I could figure was that the screen had dropped down, set at an angle, and then he bounced off of it into the grass.

It was while I was in the shower that I had another moment.

Internal injuries.

I moved quickly from the shower to getting dressed and took him to the hospital. I called my wife in advance and explained what was going on. I was taking him to the emergency room, he appeared fine, I wanted to be sure. I can only imagine her trying to explain this to my daughter, that I had nearly killed her firstborn.

After we went to the emergency room and found that he was fine and needed no medical attention, I needed plenty, we went up to the maternity ward and the Chanman met his new sister. My daughter asked if I wanted to hold my new granddaughter.

I suggested that I needed to tell her a little story first and then see if she still wanted me to hold the Girlie.

The Chanman says that angels saved him. I've never discouraged him from thinking that. It was a miracle. And I didn't kill him, even by accident

But I know never to tempt fate.

I moved the bed from the window the same day.

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