A few days ago I saw that the post40bloggers had posted a blog prompt. The remit was to write about fear. Usually I don't latch on to this sort of prompt but it suddenly made me think to something that happened at a festival a week or so ago.
When we go to Wilderness Festival the thing that DD likes to do most there is to roller skate. They have a rink outside (though covered against the British Summer weather!) and they have lights and disco music. The guys that skate as staff there know all the moves and DD enjoys skating sedately round and round for hours at a time (literally! I have to force her to leave!) watching the others skating.
The things she likes to watch most are the hilarious falls of the cocky, often drunk, and usually hot, guys that come onto the rink to show off.
Sometimes they are dressed up like camp disco kings, sometimes topless and boldly showing six packs and shouting to mates to hold their gin while they show the world their disco skating moves. DD has noticed that the bigger the bluster, the louder the banter and the more flamboyant the dress, the more they fall. She finds this terribly amusing.
On the Sunday we went to the rink and she went to skate while I drank Monkey Shoulder cocktails and ate Burger Bear burgers and sat in the sun (and the occasional drizzle) and listened to gospel music at the Juke Joint.
I looked across to the rink occasionally to see her skate by, to check all was ok. Once I couldn't see her on the rink so I popped over to check. It turned out that the staff had cleared the rink for a lot of large 'tipsy' fellows to have a skate - they were afraid the smaller kids would be squashed! DD was happy to watch them crash and fall until they left and she returned to skate.
Time passed, I drank more cocktails. I chatted to the nice cocktail lady. Telling her how awesome DD was (I was drunk remember) I ordered more booze and sat down again. Halfway through my drink I glanced up. An ambulance was coming slowly across the muddy field. At one point it slipped sideways on a slope and some festival goers helped push it straight and back on its way. It came closer and closer and I became paralysed with fear.
It seems so silly now but it was weird at the time. I immediately worried that DD had fallen, that she must be unconscious as all the staff knew us and knew where I was and she would have cried for me. I thought that she would have fallen while I was telling the lady at the bar how awesome she was. That she would be dying even as I sat and sipped my cocktail. I was too terrified to go and look. I sat frozen in my chair watching the ambulance park and the paramedics head for the rink with a stretcher. I sat filled with fear, still sipping my cocktail, imagining how I would tell my husband, how it was my fault not being there, that I was a terrible parent. I sat almost in tears, too scared to move.
And then the paramedics came out, with a middle aged woman on the stretcher, chatting, laughing.
I got up and went to see what DD was up to. It transpired that they had cleared the rink after the woman had fallen badly and twisted her ankle. When it became clear she couldn't bear any weight on that leg they had called the ambulance. While I waited, transfixed with terror, DD had been enjoying the drama. The ambulance left. DD skated for another hour. I had another cocktail to steady my nerves.