I just have to relate something that happened last weekend in the hopes it raises awareness. And so that I have it here on the blog and I don't forget it.
Laura and I went to the pool and she was off swimming with Foster (who can swim) and I was near the pool steps playing catch with a ball with the twins who are almost 3 (and can't swim). They were both sitting on the first few steps happily splashing. I turned my head half-way to coax Logan to "jump" to me from the 3rd step (really, just fall to me). I think my attention was turned towards him for approx. 20 - 30 SECONDS as I caught him and was bringing him back to the steps when I turned to where I last saw Seth.....he was face down floating in the water. He wasn't moving at all, wasn't flailing, just silent.
OMG, my heart dropped into the pit of my stomach. I was literally one arms-length away from him. I was holding Logan and I took one step and grabbed Seth with my other arm and scooped him out of the water. I didn't even have time to say a prayer and he was out of the water and crying. I wasn't 3 feet from the side of the pool and I stood up and put them both up there and tried to calm Seth down. Thank God he was crying. I knew I had to be calm for him so I just held him (I was still in the pool but by that time Laura got to the edge of the pool and took care of Logan). I can't tell you what went thru my mind in that, what, maybe 1 minute of time. I can't even bear to type what I first thought when I first saw him face down. Thinking of it now brings chills down my spine. He was fine, he was crying, he didn't even spit out any water which makes me think he instinctively held his breath. But I was never as happy to hear him cry before. Now, I'm not one to take water safety lightly. I am always within arms reach of my kids. They all must take professional swim lessons. I'm usually so attentive to them, and this was literally less than 30 seconds that I took my eyes off him. I will NEVER, EVER do that again. EVER. NEVER.
All you parents out there that ever did something in panic-mode knows what I mean when I say that for those few seconds until I got him out of the water, I didn't hear anything else, I didn't hear the other kids in the pool, I didn't see anything but my kid in the water, I didn't feel my sprained ankle, I felt like I was moving in slow motion but I heard absolutely NOTHING else. The world went quiet, only to be broken by that sweet cry.
A lesson learned!