Today was a day of high violence. I think I am still in shock.
Post usual Saturday morning activities, I decided to take on the overgrown section of garden just outside of our front fence. Of course it started as a nobel venture to improve visibility of pedestrians and quickly degraded into a nasty war of wills. Mine against the weeds. With true passion I took to them with the hateful whippersnipper that like a wounded dog swings between whimpering and snapping viciously. Why I chose to do this in the heat of the day or while David was not at home still confuses me. Yet I went at it madly and as consistently as I could, hacking into the long grass, yanking out the spiky weeds.
The kids played inside the yard, Kat was setting up some kind of school. Aidan was picking the daisies that I wanted to trim back. He loved doing that and had been in and out of the gate, carting his loot back and forth. I kicked around the idea of planting a whole row of daffodils along this side of the fence that in spring always looks so dormant before the daytime daisies come to shine brilliant yellow in summer. Aidan would have loads of flowers to pick then. I could have them in vases, Kat could wear them in her long gorgeous hair. So taken with this dream and the roar of the cranky dog in my hands I barely heard Kat. When I turned she was screaming and crying and yelling for me and running to me. I dropped the whippersnipper and ran back toward the corner of our house. Noticing thick smoke pouring from the tyres of cars on the road stopped in haste. My heart was through my mouth and pounding away faster than I could run. Tears were pushing at the seams of my eyes not yet ready to release until I knew what. What had happened? Where was Aidan? Who were these people running towards the house? Oh my God.. there.. caught on the fence…Aidan!
I pulled him free with the strength that only adrenalin gives you. He was okay and we were okay and the seams broke away and the tears came in a rush as I held him tightly against me. The men from the cars that had stopped came running over. I don’t know what they said or who they were, but they, like me were overwhelmed. Nothing like the sight of a small boy impaled on a metal fence… even if he somehow has managed to escape injury.
I don’t know how long I sat on the grass not wanting to let go of him. If I was angry at myself for leaving him to play in the yard, I didn’t feel it as much as I felt the pain of those few seconds where I thought something much worse had happened to him. I felt Kat’s arms around us both and we sat and all had a good cry and eventually a good laugh.
Some hours later an elderly man was walking by the house. He was one of the men who had stopped earlier but I didn’t recognise him. He asked after Aidan who was running around again bare chested shooting plants with his water pistol. The man also pointed out how dangerous our fence was for adventuring little boys. I agreed. He asked me if he knew why it was a dangerous fence. I said it was kinda pointy. He shook his head and said with a dark expression, “because that is the fleur de lis” pointing at the shape the metal work formed.
With this, he went on his way and sung back “but you’ll be ok from those French from now on because you thanked God your son was alright. I heard you”.
I put away my tools then, put away the old frustrating whippersnipper and my rake, loaded the green bin with the fallen and headed out of the heat.
I don’t want to dwell on what happened and I don’t want to see that scene in my dreams tonight. I am writing it out and away from me so that I don’t think about daisies my son might’ve been pushing up but instead about all the daffodils he’ll still get to pick.
And at least now I know the French won’t get me.