A Quick Word From My Mother

When my mother heard I had embarked on a project to recount all the ways I’ve nearly met my maker (or at least the Angel Second Class in Charge of the Severely Maimed), she gleefully jumped in with additional suggestions. You know. Things that nearly killed me. That I was either too young or too scarred by the experience to remember.

Shh, it's OK. The monsters didn't get you. Soon, though.

Most of what she sent me I actually remember, and already have on a list of future posts. She likely remembers these stories quite differently than I do. She’s the type that remembers things like the funny looks on people’s faces as I’m, say, being wheeled into intensive care. For me, on the other hand, what I really remember is, you know, being wheeled into intensive care.

Yes, these are actual emails from my mother.

Dragged Out to Sea

You and I were meeting the family at the beach for a cookout. You were about two years old. As we walked down the beach, in the wet sand by the sea, you were nicely toddling along beside me. The tide was going out, so as I looked around for the others, you quickly decided to chase the water as it went out. So, as you go running after the water, a big wave comes in, knocks you over and then starts dragging you out to sea. How far out, I can’t estimate, but I can still see that little blond head being pulled under the water.

I just turned around to see you being dragged out! Fortunately for both of us, I was a quick runner and was in fast enough to rescue you. The water was up to about my waist. A couple of surfers also started to get to you. You suffered no damage, physically or emotionally. Actually didn’t seem to notice.

Gotta love the detail about the surfers. And I think she’s right, I probably didn’t notice. Oxygen deprivation does that to a tiny little mind.

Sigh. You know, I had potential once. Once.

Abandoned in Catalina

Mother sleeps on the ground at the dock all afternoon due to motion sickness medication. Kid has to wander around and entertain himself.

Let me fill in the details here. She decided on a weekend outing to Catalina Island, a two-hour boat trip from Los Angeles. Just the two of us.

Thinking ahead (+1 point), she took some Dramamine pills before the trip over. But then she miscalculated the dose (-10 points) and spent the day asleep on a small patch of grass. Leaving me to wander the tourist town of Avalon by myself for the day (-15 yards and loss of down).

I was 8 years old. Eight.

I rented a bike. Only because they wouldn’t let just any abandoned moppet rent a car, I suppose. I gave myself little missions to accomplish, and then I’d check back with her every hour or so.

“You OK?”
“All right. Gonna ride over to the Catalina Casino and check that out.”
“Hope I don’t get kidnapped or anything.”
“Nothing. Go back to sleep.”

I made that last part up about being kidnapped.

I mean, I’m sure that guy in the clown makeup really did just lose his dog.