First, Wow. And Thank You. I am overwhelmed by the kind comments left here and in my email inbox regarding our son’s recent near-fatal accident.
We are all doing relatively well – the boys probably more so than My Old Man and I. They still talk about the accident some, but they seem mostly their usual selves (though Little Buddha is even more clingy than before). My Old Man and I are having a slower recovery – it is hard to describe the complexity of emotions that both of us seem to be grappling with – but we are slowly making our way back to some sort of normal. I am grateful for that privilege, because each day I realize that if our story had ended differently – had we not found Rob in time – I don’t think I could’ve made my way back. I would have been living an entirely different life right now, with a thoroughly shattered heart.
In answer to the questions I have received about linking to our story. Yes, Yes, Yes. Please do. On your blog, on parenting (or other) boards, in emails to friends and family. I want to get the word out to as many people as possible that this kind of thing – though rare – can happen. I don’t want another family to have to go through what we’ve been through, especially since most cases do not end as happily as ours.
I also want people to know that this kind of thing is totally preventable. It’s easy:
1 – Don’t dig holes deeper than waist-height of the shortest person around. The hole my son fell into was not terribly deep. But it was deep enough to swallow him up when it caved in.
2 – If you (or your children) do dig holes, fill them up when you’re done. That alone would’ve prevented our near-tragedy.
3 – When you arrive at the beach, scout out the area you will be setting up in, checking for holes. Teach your children to come tell you if they find holes other have dug, and to not play in or near them.
4 – Keep as sharp an eye on your children on the sand as you would in the water.
I don’t mean to be an alarmist. I realize that what happened to us was unusual. But it did happen. And it didn’t have to. It takes very little effort to prevent this kind of tragedy.
One final bit of an update, to add one bizarre thing on top of another. As it turns out, the national media has gotten interested in Dr. Maron’s recently published findings on this kind of thing (which I think is a very good thing). CBS is going to run a segment on sand hole collapses this coming Tuesday, July 24th, at 7:30 a.m. A camera crew came down this week and interviewed the four of us for the story. The whole segment will only last about 4 minutes and it will include way more than just what they filmed with us, so I expect that very little of the 3 hours they spent with us will actually air.
Again, thank you for your very kind words and good thoughts for our family.