Life changes in a simple second.
The blink of an eye, the bat of the wings of a hummingbird, a heartbeat, a sneeze, a kiss, a goodbye, a hello. But something much more sinister can happen in that single second. A moment every parent can dread if they are not on high alert with their children.
Summer is a time of fun, play, swimming, and even loss. The happiness and bliss of the favorite season with cliche’ past times is often overshadowed by the ominous cloud of danger that lurks in backyards, bathrooms, and in our front driveways.
As an overprotective parent I have always been very diligent to make sure that only a certain amount of water is filled in the bathtub. In stead of standard pool locks I installed combination locks to prevent the kids from ever attempting to get into the pool area that is fenced off like Fort Knox. But even those protective measures do not protect them from the imminent danger that can happen right under our noses.
Last Sunday started off like any regular family Sunday; breakfast, indoor play time, tickles abound and then time to hit the pool before lunch. Little did we know how a typical Sunday morning would ripple through our lives with an event that makes any parent cringe.
The gnomes have water wings that are helping them learn to swim and gauge their buoyancy in the pool. They also keep those wings on when we put them in their swim boats. The boats are great because they are learning to motor around the pool and helps their coordination skills. Well while we were helping them motor around the pool and we were swimming with them, The Chad and Big G headed to the deep end and were doing some diving and took Seth to watch. I was with Sara and decided to do some quick maintenance to the pool by cleaning out the skimmer. I too swam over to the deep end to clean out the skimmer and would head back to swim with her in the shallow end, not thinking anything of it since she was within reach and we were all in the pool and she was in her boat.
Or so we thought.
Before we knew it, without a sound, she silently slipped out of her boat. Which actually took effort because she literally climbed out faster than we could catch her in the act. The Chad looked over at just the right time to see her bobbing at the top of the water, grasping to reach the top,Â fiendishly trying to push her small face to the top of the water to catch a quick breath. Faster than an Olympic swimmer I watched as The Chad sprinted across our pool to snatch her up and out of the water and begin to slap her back to break the water from her lungs. He swam faster than I could run across the cool deck to grab my baby girl as I watched her helpless. Stunned and horrified I could just hold her after he slapped the water from her lungs as she coughed up what little she had inhaled.
In that moment we were grateful that this had not happened when we were not home. We were thankful we caught her in the knick of time. Kicking ourselves in our asses for just that split second life changed for us forever with how overly cautious will we continue to be with the kids in the pool, to never let our guard down no matter how comfortable we feel with them around water.
Please remember, that literally, the event only takes seconds. No loud flailing or screaming, no precursor that signaled she would climb out of her boat. Just a silent slip into the water. But drownings do not always happen in pools, but in the smallest amounts of water and most unlikely places. Dog water dishes, toilets, even the tub. It only takes an inch of water for a child to drown in. So always watch your children around water, no matter how careful you are, it only takes that second that we aren’t watching them