Paul fell into the river today. Don't worry, he's okay, but he did fall into the river.
We were biking and, at Sylvia's request we crossed over a bridge to take the path on the other side of the river. We've crossed that bridge dozens of times, on foot and on bikes, so I wasn't terribly concerned about it. I'm faster than the kids (being bigger and all) so I went up and down a bit while waiting for them. I was up, away from the bridge and had just checked to see that Sylvia was across when I heard a big splash.
When I looked back, Paul was nowhere in sight.
I started screaming his name and ran down to the bridge, chucking away everything I was carrying. Shortly before I got to the bridge he started crying, which I have to say was a wonderful sound to hear. I had no idea where he'd fallen and the middle of the river is relatively deep. When I couldn't hear him crying I was sure he'd fallen in the deep part and was being carried downstream. I'm not sure how I could have handled that. As it happened he fell closer to the side, in amongst reeds and relatively shallow water. I'm pretty sure he went completely under (the dirt still stuck to his scalp is rather suggestive), but the water was shallow enough he was able to get his head out of the water reasonably quickly.
Paul and I were both pretty shaken up. Sylvia had a lovely chat with a nice woman who stopped to make sure we were alright, which I have to say was a fantastic distraction. Thank you random woman for talking to my older child while I comforted and cleaned up the younger child. But of course, when I asked Paul if he was going to fall into the river again he told me, "yeah." Apparently I'm going to have to watch this one.
I am so glad I still have two children at the end of the day. I think the three/six year birthday party is going to be a big celebration, but more for me than the kids!