Falling In

fish on a bicycle

Try as you may, sometimes, some days you can’t help but fall in.

Last week, my son and I walked to one of our favorite parks. The one with the big pond and the statue of the fish on the bicycle. Gloria Steinem and Irina Dunn, eat your hearts out.

My child played on the slides and climbed trees while I checked the iPhone. Then from across the way I heard him cry.

“Momma!” he said. “I fell in the water!”

He’d bounced up and out of the pond by the time I reached him. He was soaked from the chest down with muddy smudges of pond slime on his cheeks.

We’d been to this park and this pond 657 times before. This was a first.

“Oh, honey!” I said.

“I’m sorry, Momma,” he said, near tears. “I didn’t mean to fall in.”

“No, honey,” I said. “Don’t apologize. It was an accident. Momma’s not mad at you. I’m just sorry this happened to you.”

“I was reaching in and my foot slipped,” he said.

“You okay?” I said.


“Yes,” he said. “But my shoes are wet.”

We giggled. Removed his shoes. Called my husband to come with the truck. Sat on the bench. Help was on the way.

As we waited, my little boy crafted the tale of falling in.

“I have to tell Ms. Donaldson I fell in the pond!” he said. “I fell down into the dirty water! My feet touched the bottom!”

“Not many people get to do that,” I said.

“Because there’s no swimming allowed!” he said.

The longer we waited, the more animated the telling became. Then he began to shiver with cold from his damp clothes.

Evening was fast approaching. We couldn’t walk home with him in bare feet. So we waited and shivered and told tales together.

The truck arrived with a warm cab and blanket. The shivering stopped and the stories wound down.

Falling in can be a harrowing thing. But recovering to be safe and warm and at peace again can make it all worthwhile.

no swimming

I called out Your name, O God,
called from the bottom of the pit.
You listened when I called out, “Don’t shut Your ears!
Get me out of here! Save me!”
You came close when I called out.
You said, “It’s going to be all right.” Lamentations 3:55-57 The Message

Mama said there’ll be days like this. There’ll be days like this Mama said.

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8 Responses to Falling In

  1. You are so right on! I love this story and the way you tied it all in to something positive. I find such inspiration from your blog. Thank you for this, you are awesome. Mama said. Mama said.

  2. Hi Aimee, I have nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award. Go to my blog for more information. http://lifeisabowlofkibble.wordpress.com/2011/09/20/look-what-i-got-last-night/. I wish you luck on this. I tripled my viewings in one night after I got this.

  3. Heh, reminds me of when my eldest fell into a pond. My step-father was trying to teach him how to fish. He lost interest and began looking at the water. Pappy and I kept warning him that he’d fall into the water if he kept leaning over. Sure enough… My wife and mother arrived shortly after to find a little boy grinning and standing in nothing but his skivvies.

    Thankfully neither he or our second child have fallen into any local ponds here… they look a wee bit too deep. Though, eldest has pitched a set of keys once into a pond – Daddy wasn’t very happy with Mommy that day.

    • Seems ponds are magnets for little boys. I remember during a beach vacation my little brother falling off the dock and into an inlet where we were catching crabs. An alligator had been seen in that very spot the day before, making his plunge all the more exciting. And keys in the pond… oy vey. Talk about a day in need of recovery! Thanks for reading and commenting, WA ;).