Yesterday while we were enjoying a pre-breakfast family walk across a footbridge in the harbor in this town, Charlie stopped. "OH NO!"
I kept walking. "What's wrong, Buddy?"
"Heartfeet FELL!" Heartfeet is the little elephant my grandma gave Charlie last week. Somehow he "fell" through the four-inch gap along the floor of the bridge.
Ryan and I looked over the side then exchanged a glance. Ryan sprang into action, jogging back towards the shore on the bridge "I'll get him!" We all cheered.
Moments later, Ryan appeared on a dock in a marina about a hundred yards away in the direction the wind was pushing Heartfeet. Charlie bounced and cheered. I uttered fervent, silent prayers. Float, Baby. FLOAT!!
Heartfeet doing the backstroke, lower right. Damsels in distress, upper left.
We held our breath as the wind very slowly moved Heartfeet closer to the dock where Ryan was standing. A woman came out of her boat and handed Ryan a boat hook so he could reach out and grab him. Charlie and Wes jumped and yelled. I willed that thing to float like its life depended on it. We waited.
By the time it was within reach of the boat hook, my parents had arrived on scene. We all watched as Ryan laid on his belly and reeeeaaached out as far as he could with the hook. Charlie yelled "You got him! You got him!!"
Ryan stood triumphantly, Heartfeet in one hand and the boat hook in the other, raised over his head. We cheered. When Ryan came back around to the bridge, Charlie ran at him with everything he had and jumped into his arms.
Ryan looked at me over Charlie's shoulder. "If it had been Phent I would have jumped right over the side."
At breakfast we recounted the whole story for my parents while Charlie held Heartfeet close, wrapped in a napkin. Charlie clung close to Ryan for the rest of the morning.
Ryan said it was pretty much the best day of his life.