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Saturday, April 26, 2008

Watching your child struggle ... to breathe... under water

OH yeah... every mom's nightmare happened to me yesterday. We went to my friend Kary's house to let the boys swim. Drew has been in a pool. He's familiar with pools. He usually has on a swimsuit that has floaties built into it, however...but that was last year. So we get there... everything is going fine. You have to understand the shallow end of her pool has a step... the second step.. it'd be about a little more than knee deep runs along the entire shallow end of the pool... and it has a little hump area in it where it functions as a chair for a little table top they have built into the pool. Drew was on that step reaching for a float that was well within his grasp and so I had turned and walked back to my area.... when Josh screamed "MOM -- DREW" I turned around and he was underwater... hands in the air... in essence... drowning...

i turned around and ran to the pool stepped in and scooped him up and took him to the side and just held him close to me. I remained perfectly calm... wrapped him in a towel and just wanted to make sure he was breathing... leaning over... in case he'd ingested any water... blew in his face so he'd stop and let out a big wail... he'd literally been under... max... 10 seconds... probably more like 5 but if you count it out... ... take the time... count it out... can you imagine how absolutely terrifying those 5 or 10 seconds were for him?

I was laying in bed last night... and i can't get that image out of my mind... my son, completely helpless... under water and I've got my back turned walking away... I feel if it weren't for Josh... Drew would have drown. Josh is my hero... well, he's always been my hero (except for the SEVENTY SIX he got on his progress report in math...but right now even THAT isn't a big issue for me)... not that I woudlnt' ahve turned around and surveyed the pool the instant I sat down because that's exactly what I was doing the entire time... watching and always ready to jump in and get him... I lay in bed and the tears just started to flow...

I was just starting to let the reality of what had happened get to me. I can't IMAGINE the guilt any parent feels if their neglegence led to the death of a child... I feel like the worst mom on the planet... I turned my back on a pool...

Thing is Drew was literally 2" from the edge... if he knew to reach for the edge, he could have pulled himself to safety... he was just inches from the step... if he KNEW how to propel himself even just a bit, he'd have been to the stair and been fine... inches from life and death and so I've called and he's taking swimming lessons now.

But that image of my child underwater... it was up to his eyebrows... hands up... doing anything he can to survive.... is one that I am sure I will have nightmares of for years to come.

protect your children... all the little complaints I have about them -- both of them... are so miniscule...because at leas I have a child TO complain about... wow... i'm just numb still today... hug your babies...

3 comments:

a.k.a. Amooretto said...

Oh April...how horrifying! I understand totally...Sydney did this to me last year...hand in the air, everything. I jumped right in and hugged her soo tight if any water was there it would of come out! I'm glad that he's safe and probably ready to swim again. Hope the lessons go well!! Big hugs to you and your boys! ;)

Greta Adams said...

jesus lord woman i thought i was reading about my own experience with that...that just brought back horrible memories for me...i know what you are feeling...that happened to me year before last with melana... she is now terrified of the water but she is getting better....

i am glad he is ok and swim lesson is a fabulous thing....give that little man a big ole hug for me

{{{{big hugs sista!!}}}}}

xo

Sarah said...

April, I am SOOOOO sorry. That sounds terrible. I would have signed up Noah for swim lessons too!