It started out a normal day. We had plans (the boys and I) to meet up with my fellow Mamas for our Mama Reunion 2 and at the very last minute that was cancelled for sick kiddos and puking Mamas. So Tiff and I decided to still meet up to get the kids together so they wouldn't be too disappointed.
Plan B was sledding.
I left Alex at home with Daddy since it was his nap time and Nate and I bundled up and headed out. When we got there he put the rest of his gear on and was down the hill in a snap. Literally, before I could say "Wait for Mommy!", he was zooming down the hill on his first run. (This kid is going to give me a heart attack!)
The next few runs went smoothly, he would fly down the hill, dawdle at the bottom, I would walk down the hill and pull him back up.
Tiff and Brie joined us after the first couple trips down and then the fun really began! (By fun, of course I mean the actual trip DOWN the hill. The trip up was NOT so much fun for Mommy and Aunt Tiff.)
We decided to call it a day and head to McDonalds for lunch, after one final trip down. Nate and Brie wanted to ride together so I planned to ride down separately to keep tabs on them. We plopped Brie in the front of the sled and Nate behind her. (So cute!) Then off we went!
This is where my tale gets harrowing. (At least to me!)
Halfway down the hill I wiped out and the kids stalled. So I got back on my sled, got them going again and we headed down the second half of the sledding hill. During this second leg of the trip, I got going SUPER fast, flipped around backwards, and totally lost sight of them as they crested the hill behind me.
When I finally came to a rest (after wiping out again at the bottom) I scanned for them and saw them off to the left...in the trees! Nate was laying face down in the snow crying his little head off and Brie was standing behind him looking stunned. Their sled was wedged between two trees.
As I ran up to them the first thing I saw was a huge scratch in Brie's helmet that she was (thankfully!) wearing! Nate's nose was scratched and bleeding and he had a nice scratch and bump/bruise on his forehead. He was screaming and crying and wouldn't let me look at it. (Which is typical for him so it was refreshing for me that THAT at least was normal!)
Some nice gentleman snowboarder came and helped us out, took a look at Nate, said something about him getting looked at due to a hematoma spreading across the bridge of his nose or something, and nicely helped us back up the hill with our sleds and children. Tiff carried Nate up and was asking him if anything else hurt when he exclaimed "But I wanted to go to Old McDonalds!".
Oh yeah, he was fine.
Seconds after receiving reassurance that we were STILL going to McDonalds for his happy meal, he was fine. He stopped crying, wanted to walk up on his own, and was even pulling his own sled.
Brie wanted to take one more trip down and Tiff wisely indulged her interest so as not to make her last sledding experience a scary one. Even though Nate had no plans on going down again because it "was too scary", he quickly changed his tune when he saw his sweet Brie going. So Tiff and Brie and Nate and I took one last trip down (together!) to "get back on the horse", as they say. It was such fun! And at the bottom we did a "We DID it!" dance to celebrate their bravery.
Nathaniel got some extra special treatment on the last trek up the hill.
Once we got home he laid pretty low for the rest of the day. And while he looks a LOT better now than he did at first (and will probably look worse tomorrow since it looks like he might be getting a black eye), he managed to escape relatively unscathed - both physically and emotionally (judging by our successful final ride of the day!).
And for this I am eternally grateful.
I feel blessed that we lucked out today.
I am so thankful that Brie was wearing a helmet, and because she was wearing a helmet, I'm glad she was sitting in front. I'm convinced that helmet saved her and her being up front saved him from a worse fate.
I'm relieved that they went BETWEEN the trees instead of directly INTO one of them.
And I'm so happy that they had an angel with them out on that sledding hill today.
It could have been SO much worse.
Nate learned a very valuable lesson, though. On our last hike up the hill, he pointed to the sign by the trees that warns sledders to stay out and said, "See that sign? It says S-P-E-E, Stop!"
He also learned that life's adventures are ALWAYS more exciting (and special!) with your best friends by your side.