Thursday, May 15, 2008

What Goes Around...

Today's Wonder of the World is...

I've told you a little about Sarah, my oldest, and Sam, my youngest.
Here is Ben, my middle child.

He is almost near the finish line. He can run fast, which has a lot to do with the crazy thing that happened to him a few weeks ago. But he looks a little scary in that picture, so let me show you another one.

There, that's better. This is Ben in a slightly humiliated state. He just got his braces off and I am making him have his picture taken in the parking lot with Flat Stanley for my niece. Cars are whooshing by. Through that smile he is saying, "Mom, I am dying over here. Take the picture already!"

Anyway, back to the story.
You must know a little background about Ben, or this won't make sense.

Ben was an active baby.
That's a nice way to say that he ran me ragged. The child would not stop moving, unless he was asleep. And as he moved, he enjoyed endangering himself.

Here he is, a few hours after his first trip to the emergency room.

See the little band-aid on his forehead? This picture was taken during his very first camping trip. Before we had even unpacked, he threw himself out of the van hard onto the gravel. After we found a hospital and got him stitches, we went back and set up the tent. We had no idea that this was a sign of things to come.

This is Ben a couple of emergency room trips later, three years old with a cast on his leg. He broke it on a trampoline. (No, he did not fall off. How he broke it is still a mystery to me.) And yes, in this picture he's on the top of the slide of the swing set that used to be in our backyard. No silly cast was going to slow Ben down.

A few days after this picture was taken, we took him to the emergency room for swallowing money.
He said he just wanted to see what it felt like in his mouth. We didn't know how many coins it was, or whether it was a big enough coin to get stuck. Luckily he had refused to be potty trained at that point, so we had the pleasure of looking for it in every diaper. (Oh the memories.) When we found the coin, we named it our three hundred dollar dime.

Here is Ben our first year in France.

If you click on the picture you can see the little scar under his eye from his first stitches in France. I wrote about that little trip to the emergency room in French By Heart.
As you can see, he likes baguettes. He also liked fencing, which is like dancing with a sword. Right up his alley.

I could show you many more photos of broken arms, wrists, dangerous cuts, and pretty serious rug burns, and I haven't even mentioned how many times as a toddler he'd take off up the driveway, headed for the road. (Yes Aunt Janet, maybe somebody upstairs was getting me back!) But I won't bore you. The point is that over Ben's fifteen years of life, he's had many close calls. Thankfully he's survived them all.

Don't give up on me...I'm almost to the story.
Last week he had a date with karma.
Or what goes around, comes around.
Or what ever you want to call it.

It was a Saturday and Ben was taking an afternoon run. We live on a side road near the entrance to our subdivision. The road into our neighborhood is very busy. People (crazy teenagers) come whipping around the corner and zoom past our neighborhood pool because there are no houses over there, just the clubhouse. This is where the story begins.

Ben, almost home from his jog, ran up the hill toward the clubhouse and our side street. But what was that there, in the middle of the road up ahead? Was it a pile of clothes? was moving! Was it an animal? It was a child! A baby! Right in the middle of the road! Right at the entrance to the neighborhood where people whip in their cars!

Ben took off running. He said he didn't remember actually moving his legs, just the sight of the car turning into the neighborhood and the sound of another car coming up behind him. Suddenly he was there, picked up the child, and carried him to the side of the road.

"What did you do then?" we asked him.

"I put him down and I said, 'Okay, go to your mommy and daddy.' And do you know what he did? That kid walked right back into the road!"
Ben reenacted the moment, the child wandering aimlessly, flapping his little arms, his head bobbing like a little bobble-head. The baby must have been a year and a half old. Ben picked him up again and walked around the clubhouse in search of adults.

On the other side were two dads, laughing and talking and sort of watching the five or six kids in their charge. But when they saw Ben approach, carrying the baby in the style of a teenage boy who has never carried a baby before, they didn't even stop talking.

"Um," Ben said, "Uh, excuse me."
The dads looked up.
"Is this kid yours?"
"Oh," a dad said, "Yeah. Why?"
"Uh...he was walking in the road."
"Oh," the dad said. "Whoops. You're a good dad, kid."

When Ben got home, he was still full of adrenaline.
"You do think I gave him to the right dad, right?"
"Yes, honey."
"Cause he's not my responsibility anymore, right? Starting now, that dad is going to have to handle things because I've got to take a shower."

So that's the crazy thing that happened to my little Ben.
For a few minutes, he got to be someone else's guardian angel.
Pretty wonder-ful, huh?

PS. Don't forget to leave your name on Monday's post for the drawing!
Have a wonderful Thursday!


Susan Sandmore said...

Ohhhhh, what a wonderful story! I've got tears in my eyes. Thank goodness for Ben. And shame on the chatting Dads!

Kalynne Pudner said...

I'm astonished by Ben's goodness. Not only did he save a small child from almost certain demise, but he held back a hundred justified smart-aleck comments in response to the chatting dad.

Adaora A. said...

Aww how sweet! What a good guy!
Makes you want to pinch his cheeks and leave his stomach chalk a block with all the good treats.
Good for him.

I'm suprisingly not astonished by the 'dads' reaction. It is pretty common in a lot of places these days. Sadly. If you can't keep an eye on your child, leave him or her with a babysitter. I can't understand why this is so hard for him to grasp. Basically his child would have died if Ben didn't go after the poor baby.

Je ne regrette rien said...

Go Ben! he passed all that good care on!

Sherri @ Life As I Live It said...

Ok,first of all,I could not have just let that dad have the child back without going off completely!
What an irresponsible parent!

Bless Ben for acting quickly and thinking of someone else's safety above his own.

On a lighter note,I bet when he got the braces off,he couldn't stop looking in the mirror at his teeth.When mine came off,I stayed in the bathroom for a week looking at them.:)

Rebecca Ramsey said...

Thanks, y'all, for the pats on the back for Ben. Tonight I'm going to have him read your comments. We told him we were proud of him for what he did, but we never really celebrated it. This will make him feel great!
And Sherri, yes, I think he is satisfied with the new look. The last picture in the post was taken by a friend of Sarah's at a track banquet, who made a big deal of how great he looked. Thus the nice smile.
(Sorry Ben to embarrass you with that story, but you'll have to allow me! Your mommy loves you!)

May Vanderbilt said...

There's Ben! I've been waiting for a good Ben story. He was such a wonderful character in your book, always sneaking around like a spy or getting under Mme Mallet's skin.

And now he's a hero.

Also, I hope this isn't standard daddy daycare. I'm not married yet but this story was a little scary.

Cote de Texas said...

What a sweet, darling boy you have! Does he have a girlfriend? My daughter just turned 17 and well...... hahah!!!

And that father should be arrested!
Thanks for the comment!!!

Rosemary said...

Now there is a story!! What is it about parents these days not watching their children. Good thing Ben was there.
I read about your emergency room visit in France a couple of days ago. I can't tell you how much I am enjoying that book. Your neighbor across the street, just cracks me up. She is the Mrs. Kravitz of France.
Have a wonderful day,

Amy said...

That is a cool story, what a wonderful young man your son is - I had tears in my eyes just reading that...

Rebecca Ramsey said...

Don't worry, May. Most daddy daycare isn't anything like that. Most daddies, I think, watch their children like hawks, if for no other reason that they're afraid of the mommy wrath if anyone got hurt. Just kidding. Kind of.

Joni, he does not have a girlfriend. Ha ha. (I'm humming Matchmaker, matchmaker...)

Rosemary, that's so sweet of you. I'm glad you're enjoying it. And yes, Mrs. Kravitz is the perfect nickname for Madame Mallet! (And Bewitched is one of my all time favorites!)

Thanks Amy!
And thanks to the rest of you too! Ben grinned for a good while after reading your comments!

Fete et Fleur said...

OM...GOSH! I feel sick! I know that kids can get a way from you but my goodness that father deserves ________. I'll leave it up to your imagination to fill in the blank. Thank God your son was there.


Dana said...

I just "stumbled" my way into your blog! I enjoyed your son's accident history---it was very entertaining. I'm certain it wasn't to you as you were dealing with all of his ER trips! I am still AGHAST at the behavior of the negligent parents AND their casual attitude toward your son's heroic actions. I agree with Joni, an arrest should have been made! A new reader--Dana.

Cathy ~ Tadpoles and Teacups said...

What a great post!