Today when I drove home from work, after picking up Martin at school, we took the back road down the hill, through Ödarslöv. When we crested the hill and started our descent, it was like plunging underwater as the fog rose up to meet us halfway. It was wreathed about the ground in slinky white cotton batting, a translucent veil over the fields. There was no fog on the roads, it ended abruptly at the edge of the fields, though it continued out over the ground as far as we could see. Bare-branched trees stuck up out of it like skeleton hands near the river.
A young girl in our village died Tuesday night, after a horse-riding accident. She was in Martin's old Flyinge school class. He wasn't close to her but we've known them since he started daycare when he was 2 years old. She was in his class all through elementary school until the middle of his sixth grade year when he switched schools. She was 15 years old, a beautiful long-limbed girl with a swinging ponytail of thick blond hair. I can't stop thinking about it: I'm just devastated for her family, her mother, her friends.
She was riding her horse, and jumping, which she did competitively...she's been riding since she was really small; she knew what she was doing, in other words. They went over a small jump and the horse stumbled and fell, on top of her head and upper torso. She had on a helmet and a safety vest, but they couldn't protect her against 450 kilos of horse on her. She was rushed by ambulance to the hospital but she died 6 hours later despite all the attempts to save her. Her mom was there when it happened and saw the whole thing. She tried to get the horse off her daughter, but couldn't move it; though it sounds like it was already too late. So unbelievable: horrifying and tragic don't even begin to describe it. If it's dark for me, imagine how it must feel for those she left behind.
Karin is in the bathroom singing while she depilates her legs. When I came in to kiss her goodnight 2 evenings ago, she confessed that she was ashamed about her hairy legs; she is the last girl in her seventh grade class that hasn't started shaving (or otherwise removing hair from) her legs. Really, I think 13 is a little young for this, but at the same time, I know times have changed and something so easily solved isn't something she should have to be embarrassed about in front of her friends. I told her what her options were, and she opted for trying Veet cream. So far, from the sound of the singing, she seems to be satisfied with the results.
They're growing up so fast. This is just the beginning; in fact it's probably halfway into the process. No makeup until she's at least 15, though...and she claims to be okay with that. It hurts my heart to think that in just a few years I won't see my kids every day. I don't know how my mom does it. People tell me you can't think about it like that, but how not? Maybe I'll get used to the idea by the time it actually starts happening. And give thanks every day that it isn't permanent.