It’s time for me to celebrate again, and I want you to celebrate with me!
3 years ago, while vacationing at Santa Rosa Beach, Florida, my then 3 year-old son fell into a hole left by some other children, six feet from where I stood, while I was in conversation with my husband. It was only a matter of seconds before I realized he was gone from my peripheral vision, and as close as we were to the water’s edge, I thought he had been swept into the water (which was very rough and choppy that day). For five minutes, my husband and many others searched for him. Long after we had given up hope of finding him alive, a young woman noticed an indentation in the sand near our towels, stuck her hands in, and felt the top of his head 8-10 inches under the surface. (For the rest of my life, I will be grateful to Erika Orlando, now Erika Weiland).
My husband and others immediately began digging. Miraculously, my husband pulled our son out of the hole alive, and totally fine (though shaken up, as we all were). Afterwards, I learned that sandhole collapses are a more frequent occurrence than I would’ve dreamed, and that the majority of them end in death. There are four easy things you can do to prevent such a tragedy:
1. When you arrive at the beach, always check nearby for any holes left by others, and fill them in.
2. Do not dig holes any deeper than knee-high of the shortest person in your group. Yeah, I know this sounds extreme. If this feels more extreme than your group can accommodate then perhaps you can at least stop at waist-high.
3. If you do dig holes, fill them in before you leave. The hole my son fell in had been left by other children.
4. Make sure any children you go to the beach with know that holes and trenches can be dangerous, and that they should let you know if they see any abandoned holes.
July 8th feels like a birthday to me, because it’s the day I got my baby back, the day I got my own life back when I thought it had been shattered. In my religious tradition, there are stories of people getting back things (or people) they thought they’d lost for good – and they always throw a party. I’m not having a full-on party, but I do want a little virtual celebration.
This year, I’m giving away fiber!
This is a particularly sought-after Hello Yarn Fiber Club fiber, the May 2010 colorway, Garland. It is so happy and fun, it seemed like a good choice for a giveaway. If a non-spinner wins it, I will happily spin it up for him/her (though the spinning will have to wait until after Tour de Fleece is over).
You don’t have to do anything but leave a comment letting me know you’d like to celebrate by winning some fiber (or handspun yarn, if you’re not a spinner). I’m cross-posting this on flickr as well, and you’re welcome to comment in both places, but I’ll only count each comment as one entry. If you don’t like fiber, don’t want fiber, but still want to leave a comment, that’s great too (but let me know you don’t want to be entered). I’ll draw a winner next Friday, July 16, after noon EST.
And if you’d help spread the word about sandhole safety, too, that’d be great. Let me know if you blog about this, or tweet about it, or otherwise spread the word about sandhole safety, and I will enter you in the giveaway a second time.
I didn’t manage to get a decent one of both of us this time around, but I loved his joie d’ vivre in the one at the top of this post, and how he has such a similar expression to his 4 year-old self. I named him Little Buddha for this blog four years ago, but I should have named him Little Lion. And I love to hear his lively roar.