weinraub’s words

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Cistern Crash

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So, our neightbor Pi Ut has a small swimming pool where we swim occasionally. Like all pools, it has some kind of water drainage/filtration infrastructure. Next to the actual pool, underneath the concrete decking on which you would walk to approach the pools edge, there is a little well/cistern that - I guess - holds water overflow from the pool. The cistern is covered with a hinged trapdoor made of standard wooden decking material, not quite 2x4’s, but close enough.

Over time, the wood has rotted, so they removed the hinged door and? simply threw a piece of plywood on type.

Becca, her cousin Ying (about 11 years old), and some of the neighborhood kids are hanging around Ut’s house. Becca steps right on the plywood and crashes through into the cistern below, about a four foot fall into water that is just slightly deeper than her ability to stand. Ying hears the crash, looks around and wonders “Hmmm, where’s Becca?” and sees Becca in the well.

Not only did Becca apparently have the sense to hold her breath when she hit the water, but out of sheer necessity - remember, the water is deeper than she can stand, the first time she has ever experienced that without me holding her - she is dog-paddling frantically to stay above water.

Ying reaches in and pulls her out and all is fine. Becca’s primary complaint was that the water was dirty and that she got some in her nose.

All this happened while I was at work, so they told me the whole story when I returned home. I began tear up at the thought that we almost lost our little Becca. I tell ya, I’m too delicate to be a parent. I need to be made of sterner stuff.