Saturday, August 7, 2010

Rocket Safety #101

When Jordan was about 8 or 9 he came home from school with a rocket he'd made in science class. It was just a harmless little thing made from a film canister and alka selzer.

Being the fully supportive family that we are, everyone gathered on the driveway to watch Jordan "launch" his rocket. Jordan carefully placed the miniature rocket in the middle of the driveway while we all stood far enough away (for safety sake, of course) that we could barely even see the rocket.

We waited...

and waited...

and waited...

Jordan assured us that the rocket worked perfectly when his teacher demonstrated it, so we continued to wait.

Just as Jordan knelt down to inspect the malfunctioning rocket, darn if the thing didn't launch right then--smack into his forehead!

Again, being the fully supportive family that we are, we all witheld our laughter for at least 3 1/2 seconds--almost enough time to determine that the rocket hadn't hit anything vital, like an eye.

Lesson learned.


Less than 24 hours after Jordan's first near-death experience (as death relates to rockets, anyway, since we'd lost count on actual near-death experiences), Jordan came home from his after-school science program with a REAL rocket. It was so exciting because this thing was, like, 2 feet tall, with a launching pad and all! The launching mechanism required one of those huge square batteries, so it was clear this no alka-selzer rocket wanna-be.

Sadly, the weather wasn't going to cooperate with us that day, so I explained to Jordan that we would all go to the park as soon as the rain let up. I really wanted Jordan to have a good rocket experience after the previous day's mishap, be we would have to wait, and I would have to look at his sad little face for a good 24 hours at least.

or NOT...

At the time, we had a basement that was equipped with a full commercial bakery. My sister and I had a huge bakery order to fill and were knee-deep in gift baskets when my four supposedly homework-doing children started screaming unintelligabley as they scrambled over one another in a ball of arms and legs down to the basement. Being that all four kids were seemingly on the same team in this case and more panicked than crying, I figured it was something worth looking into. Just as I hurled myself over the shaking kid-mass in the stairwell and began fast-walking (after all, kids can get worked up over little things, so I didn't feel the need to run,) every smoke detector in the house began shrieking all at once. I stepped it up and started taking stairs two at a time.

I was greeted at the top of the stairs by a smoke-filled kitchen. The kids were still a screaming, jumbled, hugging mess several steps behind me and no help whatsoever as I attempted to discern where the smoke was coming from. Oddly, there didn't seem to be any accompanying fire.

As the cloud began to dissipate and the smoke-detector shrill continued, a small, charred, wooden block emerged smack dab in the center of my gorgeous wood floor. This blackened thing looked mysteriously like the rocket launcher Jordan had brought home only 20 minutes before. Yet there was no rocket resting proudly upon it.

I slowly (very slowly since I feared the worst and wasn't entirely ready to face it)scanned from what I now knew to be that stupid launcher all the way up to my 18 ft. ceiling. There, majestically embedded in my kitchen ceiling was Jordan's rocket!

By this time, and with tears streaming down his face, Jordan had worked his skinny little shirtless body between my warm body and my arm. I could feel his chest thumping at what seemed to be double the pace of my own racing heart, and all I could do was hug him tightly. I couldn't even speak, let alone get mad.

Don't get me wrong, it's more in my nature to get mad and yell THEN check for broken bones, etc. This time was different. I just stood there in awe--awe that there was a rocket in my ceiling, awe that Jordan's face hadn't been blown off, awe that Jordan had escaped death.


1 comment:

  1. I'm glad we can all laugh about this now (and I mean roll on the floor in hysterics).