Monday, August 17, 2009


There was MUCH to like about this last weekend: Eric's brother Steve came for a visit with our niece Gwen, who is incredibly adorable, imaginative, sweet, and sassy. It was so much fun, and so relaxed.

Then, yesterday, we got to go the Lyons folk festival, which I love because it's only an hour away, it's beautiful, and there is a little beach right along the St. Vrain where the kids can play in the water and build sand castles and generally frolic. The music is good, too, but we mostly go for the ambiance and the junk food and the lazy time with our kids.

So, I should be writing more about these amazing things.

But here's what I'm thinking about, this weird thing that happened on our way out of the park. It's convoluted and hard to explain, but here goes.

We left the festival around 9:15, because we were fading fast and the girls were getting a little crazy, and a thunder and lightning storm was heading toward us at break-neck speed. We got to the bus drop-off (you have to take a bus from the festival to the parking lot). But there was a different bus on duty by that point, and it couldn't fit all of us AND our tents, camp chairs, wagon, and cooler the way the first bus of the day had.

Freaking out a little, we decided that Eric should stay with our mountain of crap while I rode with the girls back to the parking lot. Then I would return to fetch him and the mountainous kidfrastructure.

Of course, Eric was the one who had actually parked the car earlier in the day, so when the girls and I got back to the parking lot, we couldn't really find the car. Because the parking lot was pitch black and still had a few hundred cars parked in it.

Up and down the 1/4-mile-long aisles we walked, Nolie on my shoulders and Addie holding my hand. We stopped once for Addie to pee in the weeds (I thank God my kids know how to do this) then kept searching.

I felt a little panicky, walking around in the dark with the girls, but mostly I felt like I had an opportunity to handle the situation well in front of them, and mostly I did. Not to mention the fact that they were incredibly heroic, helping me look and not whining or fussing, even after a long, crazy day.

Finally, after walking up and down three of the dirt aisles, I saw the Subaru (miracle!) one row over, and made a beeline for it.

Except, as we were walking the maybe 40 feet to the car, Nolie, who had been on my shoulders, lurched backward off of my shoulders with a choked gasp. She was basically laid out horizontal, and we were moving like an upside-down L.

I had hold of her feet, so she didn't hit the ground. But I had no idea what had happened. My first thought was that she had seen Lightning (her nemesis, second only to Thunder), had freaked out, and was trying to launch herself into my arms. But it wasn't that. In my memory, it was as if someone was pulling on her from behind. Her legs locked around my shoulders and her body was totally tense.

A second or two later, she's still making weird sounds, gurgling now, and I've managed to swing her around to my front, and I'm carrying her, wounded-soldier style, trying to just get to the car so I can see what's going on.

I get her in the seat and get the overhead light on and she grasping at her neck screaming that the "white rope" got her. Addie's also crying now, she says because she's so worried about Nolie. "You can have the best lollipop," she says to Nolie, over and over again.

Long story short: Nolie was, and is, fine. There's a nasty clotheline-looking burn on her neck. But who knows what caused it? I walked back a few rows once I had the girls calmed down and buckled in, and didn't see any wires or ropes suspended there.

But it freaked me out, the whole incident. Your kid's head being taken off and all. So here were the explanations that flashed through my head on the drive home, each ridiculous in its own way:

A bat flew into Nolie's neck.

Her jacket got caught on something behind me (?) and pulled her back.

She got hit by lightning (I know, redonculous).

Some idiot had strung something up in the car or parking lot that I just couldn't see, even after searching.

She was really, really tired, and maybe she hallucinated something. But that burn mark...

I don't know, obviously. But it would be fine with me if that whole episode never occurred again.


  1. How very scary! I'm so glad she's okay. The only thing that comes to my mind is some sort of electric wire, though why someone would have a hot wire strung up at that level is beyond me.

    Ember grabbed one last weekend at my brother and sister in law's house. I don't think it actually showed up as a burn mark, but it sure hurt her.

  2. Yowza. Wow. SO glad the Nolester is okay. I'm sure by the time you got to Eric he was wondering if you'd left for Denver without him. :)