Well, today, in our little corner of the world, a hero looked just like this....
The weather was beautiful today so we decided to visit the park. Alain was near the lake with Clara....allowing her to venture around a little. Sophie and I went to the restroom. As we returned and approached Alain & Clara, we noticed a little boy standing next to them and he was DRENCHED. I knew immediately what had happened. It's a fear I've often had. The little boy had been riding his bike down the sidewalk which leads (downhill) to the lake. Instead of turning with the sidewalk, his bike hit the small little rock "wall" (it rises maybe two inches above the sidewalk) and he'd flipped right over the handlebars and into the lake. I'm not sure how he did it but Alain, with Clara in his arm, reached down, grabbed the boy's arm and lifted him out of the lake to safety.
By the time we reached them, a small crowd had started to form. None of those people were the boy's parents. Luckily, a young woman noticed that Eddie (as we learned was his name) was wearing hearing aids and she immediately removed them to avoid any further water damage. We tried speaking to him to find out if he knew his parents' phone numbers but I think he was in shock. He just kept repeating that he'd fallen into the lake. Since the weather had just reached around 50 degrees, Eddie was REALLY cold. The young woman and I helped him remove his jacket and shirt. Alain removed his own long-sleeved shirt and we put it on Eddie. I also wrapped my scarf around his neck.
Alain and the young woman, along with Sophie and another friend, walked Eddie around the lake to look for his parents. It took over half an hour. As it turns out, Eddie was seven years old, he couldn't swim and he also didn't know his parents' phone numbers. I think we were all relieved and happy once he was reunited with his own family.
As the day wore on, I kept thinking back to the famous quote by Mr. Rogers (the one that recently resurfaced during the Newtown tragedy and has become famous all over again!)....
"When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers - so many caring people in this world.” — Mister Rogers
Alain was that helper today.
So were all the other people who gathered around to see how they could help and who attempted to comfort Eddie.
I'm glad our daughters got to see a side of their Dad that they didn't know before. Alain has always been our hero but, today, I'm glad he was Eddie's hero as well. Alain says "hero" is exaggerating but I don't think so. As Eddie panicked and floundered around in the water, knowing that he couldn't swim, I'm sure a nice, strong arm from out of nowhere reaching in to lift him to safety must have felt like a lifesaver!
We love you, Alain. Even if we are exaggerating, you're still our hero!