This week we were invited to a friend’s pool. They have a shallow end. Thing 1 didn’t want to wear a life jacket (and following suite – neither did Thing 2) – however there were noodles to keep them afloat and they had taken a few swimming lessons in the past year. There were the only kids in the pool and I was right there. I was right there.
Towards the end of our swim…I sat on the edge of the pool to dry off and prepare their towels. For some reason – perhaps it was the sudden quiet – or the lack of splashing – or a mother’s instinct, I looked at the children…
Both heads were underwater, no noodle in sight, Thing 1 had her mouth open and was screaming but only bubbles were coming out. I stood up and froze for just a second. I couldn’t believe my eyes.
Our friend (who was in front of me) jumped in and pulled them up. Thing 2 had lost the noodle – had grabbed on to Thing 1 – Thing 1 couldn’t hold up the weight of Thing 2 and was just far enough that she was on her tip toes in the shallow end (and a bit more than an arms’s reach from the ledge).
It scared the crap out of me. It scared them too. It was a big lesson for all of us.
I know I won’t freeze again. The reality that kids drown in seconds hit home (and that they don’t make a sound when they do). Water wings will always come to the pool with us. Water is fun – but it is also dangerous. Thank goodness – the grown-ups were right there.