Crystal Mountain Near-Disaster
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I’m not an hysterical parent. I’m also at my best under intense pressure. Thank god, because I needed my wits about me on Friday when my 6-yr old son fell 20 feet off the chair-lift at Crystal Mountain.
The day was positively miserable from the moment we awoke in the RV parked in the “B” Overnight Lot…drizzling continuously, interspersed with heavier rain. Yep, that’s RAIN, and not snow. At least at the base…I heard it was snowing up at the top.
At 11:30, I met my son for lunch during his break from ski school, and saw that the kids were absolutely drenched, of course. The instructor, feeling sorry for the kids, kindly took it upon herself to buy rain ponchos (basically plastic trashbags with holes for arms) for each of her students to keep them drier. VERY thoughtful.
On the Discovery lift after lunch, this instructor was sitting next to my son, and told him to lean back as she lifted the footrest. Without warning, he slipped off the seat, falling 20 FEET to the icy ground below. I’m sure that people below must have been horrified, but not as much as that poor instructor. It wasn’t her fault, it was an accident. However, letting a little kid fall on your watch must inspire some pretty bad nightmares.
Luckily, I was in the lodge chatting with a fellow-parent when I was summoned to the ski patrol office. I couldn’t imagine anything really terrible considering he was on the bunny slope with a helmet…probably just a twisted knee or broken arm. All manageable.
It wasn’t until I learned that he had, in fact, fallen from the CHAIR-LIFT, a fact that had been carefully concealed from me until the moment the ski patrol arrived, pulling my son cocooned on a toboggan. Frankly, I’m glad I was sheltered from that knowledge, as it serves no purpose to panic unnecessarily.
The second I heard him crying, I felt a rush of relief because it meant he was conscious. Seeing him waving his arms provided another welcomed jolt of comfort, knowing the top of his spinal cord was intact. The final wave of gratitude hit me as the ski patrol rushed him inside and assured me that his only injury was to his leg. I have never been so happy to hear anything in my life.
We have since been to the Swedish Emergency Room on First Hill and learned he has a buckle fracture in his tibia. Nothing serious, doesn’t require surgery, easy-breezey. Yes, he has to hobble around on crutches for a few weeks in a cast, but he’ll be out playing soccer in the blink of an eye.
Yes, sometimes we need big reminders to feel GRATITUDE for the good things in life.