Only takes a second

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, 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

10 Replies to “Only takes a second”

  1. Wow! That was an incredible scare. PP is normally fearless in all things, but she fear the water a little.

    She does like to swim, if she’s wearing a life vest, a floatie, and water wings, or with a death grip on me or Hubman.

    And you know what? I can work with that level of fear for another year or two.

    I am glad everyone is ok. The water is so fun, yet so frightening.

  2. OMG how very scary. I am so thankful she is okay. It definitely can happen in a split second…even when you think they are safe. I am so sorry you experienced this, but so happy that the outcome was a good one (Hugs)…

  3. Oh Karie, my heart just started racing when I read this. This has always been one of my fears. We don’t have a pool right now, and the kids have always done really well around them, but it too has always scared me. I’m so glad Sara is okay, and you and Chad were there able to react as quickly as you did.

  4. OMGOSH! That is so scary! I got chills just reading and remembering an incident when I was a kid. I was on a 3 wheeler, my uncle was around, but no one else. He wasn’t paying too much attention and bam – electric fence, 7pm/subtle darkness and a kid that was maybe 7 (me)… yeah, I still have a scar on my neck where the electric fence grabbed my neck from the 3 wheeler. Things that happen when adults aren’t around are surely scary, but it sure does make everyone around us think about what we could do to prevent that and makes everyone of us appreciate life around us just that much more. My biggest fear with my kids is water and drowning. I freak out at the slightest moment. I can only imaging how fast your heart was racing! I am so glad that everything is ok with everyone! Hugs to mama!

  5. As your story unfolded, I felt something horrible was about to happen. I am so glad to hear that despite what could easily have turned out to be a very tragic accident, ended well and without any type of permanent or temporary damage.

  6. (hugs) oh Karie….

    I am so thankful that she is okay!

    Are you and The Chad going to be okay? This wasn’t easy for you, or him…. oh how as parents these moments, rock us to our core and forever change us and our perspective … continue to take good care of you and yours my friend…

    (hugs) cause I think, I wish, I could be there to give them to you in person.

  7. Phew!!! What a total scare. This sort of thing scares the hell out of us. My husband had night terrors when we lived next to the river when our girls were young. Although we don’t live next to those conditions now, it’s important to us for the girls to learn how to swim and being floundering guppies, we knew we weren’t the right people to teach them. In fact, tomorrow is “water safety” day at our swim lesson place. That’s the first thing they teach them, to bob to the surface, turn around, and reach for the wall (assuming they fall into a pool). Tomorrow, they wear normal clothes to simulate what it feels like to wear something other than a swim suit.

    So glad that little Sara is fine. I wonder who got the bigger scare – you guys or her. Little kids are so resilient.

  8. gah! how scary! so glad she is okay. with three little ones, and two parents, that split second you turn from watching one to another is the second they seem to do the unimaginable!

    *hugs* mama! again, soooooooo glad she is ok! what a little turkey 🙂

    1. Seriously you forget how you can be outnumbered. Even though we were all in the pool, just that second we were all across the pool and she was in her boat is literally all it took. I couldn’t imagine not even being able to see her like if we were NOT in the pool area with her. We know we have a guardian angel in all we do. Thanks so much lady…means a lot. Love you woman

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