As I sit and write this post it's January and we're about to get our first real snow. No swimming around here anytime soon. But I'm going to write the post and save it for later because I can't get the mental picture out of my mind.
I saw a link to a site about identifying your kid drowning. And it had this picture with it
And it's not the picture above that sticks in my mind, but the picture permanently etched into my mind of my son almost drowning. And that's what will give me bad dreams tonight. So, I'm going to share the story with you so that you don't go through what we did.
Last summer while visiting some friends, we headed to the community pool. It was a cool spot with shallow areas that got progressively deeper, fun slides, and all kinds of kid entertainment. But this momma was at a pool with 3 kids who couldn't swim and I was nervous. Fortunately my friend's kids could swim so she was able to help me with mine. Scott had gone down the slide several times after we finally moved away from the super shallow area. As I stood nearby chatting with my friend, I watched as Scott was playing in the water. He was having tons of fun jumping around in the water and splashing like crazy. I was glad he was having fun and kept chatting with my friend. And then I realized what was going on. And to this day it takes my breath away.
He wasn't jumping and splashing.
He was drowning.
He can't swim. He was sinking, hitting bottom (which wasn't too far down) and jumping back up in panic gasping for air. And I thought he was having fun splashing! I watched him do this for at least 10 seconds, but what seemed like minutes after the fact, before I realized it. I rushed over and grabbed him, moving him a few feet closer where it was shallow enough for him to stand.
My kid can't swim. It's odd to think of because I was practically a fish growing up. As I type this, I shared the story briefly with my husband. He has no clue how scared I was. Neither does my girlfriend or my son. But I was scared. It still scares me to think of it.
So, what should I do next time? What should you do?
Get your child swimming lessons. Learn to recognize signs of drowning. And don't assume they're splashing in the water.