WE JUST MISSED THE BOAT! A mother and daughter on the Seine River
My daughter and I were traveling on a tourist boat on the River Seine just 4 days before this graphic accident, right next to the majestic Notre Dame. I remember lighting a candle in Notre Dame’s magnificent cathedral right before we boarded. As we silently floated along, I recall thinking that the other, larger boats came awfully close to our smaller vessel and made terrific waves. Needless to say I was anxious to get off even though Paris' wonderful history tugged and pulled. But I’m a mom. Whenever I sense danger, I go into a heighten sense of awareness or what I call survivor mode. I do this without ever uttering a word. I was on the boat with my daughter and after the recklessly close call I searched for the life preservors and recalled thinking, I don’t see any lifeboats, a la Titantic, at all! I knew my kid could swim and mathematically eyed the distance from wet to land. I leaned over toward the black and bottomless water and asked my daughter how deep she thought it was. She didn’t know but said it looked cold. After a white knuckle moments our tour was over and we were safe. We did get one huge jolt before actually stepping off when the boat smacked the dock and knocked us back. I was happy to be on dry land again and quickly paid the ten euros for the eight by ten they took when we first boarded, which showed two smiling and eager tourists. Maybe there’s a reason they don’t snap your shot after you dock. Back at my hotel in Montemarre, which faced a wonderful ancient cemetery, I began to breath deeply again. Four days later and back in the states, I read the news of this boat accident on the Seine, exactly where we had been and had a horrible mixed feeling of sadness and glee. Thank goodness I lit that candle.
Pam Ward, author
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