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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Pool Safety Reminder

 I am so thankful that I chose to go to the pool with my family this evening.  I did not wear my swimsuit as I had not planned on swimming.  I primarily went to be with the family and to help supervise the kids.
Anytime we take the kids on the boat or to go swimming, I am very conscientious about the kids wearing their safety vests. And tonight was no exception.  Except that Daddy decided to give Ben a break from his vest after a little while.  Of course, being the mama bear that I am, I kept a closer watch on Ben.  Then Jackie decided to go down the slide.  Tim swam away toward the bottom of the slide in order to catch Jackie.  In the meantime, I stood with Ben as we watched Daddy.  Ben wanted to go into the water but I reminded him that he had to wait for Daddy to come back for him.  I kept my hand on Ben since he did not have his vest on.  What happened next is a stark reminder of how quickly something can happen around water.  Even though I had my hand on Ben while we waited for his Daddy to come back to him, Ben got away from my grasp and immediately jumped into the water.  My hands and body were not quick enough to grab him back before Ben landed in the water.  I watched in horror for a second.  I was ready to jump in (fully clothed) after him but thankfully, there were a couple of moms close by so I yelled for them to grab Ben out of the water.
By the time Ben was grabbed out of the water, Tim was on his way back over with Jackie after she went down the slide.  I was shaken and my heart was pounding hard.  I didn't yell at Ben but I spoke to him sternly and reminded him that he was not to jump into the water without his vest and Mommy and Daddy had to be in the water with him.  For a moment, I was a bit agitated with Tim since he was the one who took Ben's vest off earlier.  After I spoke sternly to Ben, he went into melt-down mode.  I don't know if it was because of the way I spoke to him or if the incident scared him. I do hope that Ben learned something from this. I know I was shaken up for a good while.
With Tim's history of ADD, I am a little hesitant to allow Tim to take the kids to the pool again if he is going to allow the kids a break from their safety vests. This is one a reason that I did not want to buy a home that had a pool. Unfortunately, pool accidents happen to even the best parents.  Although, at times, Tim wouldn't mind having our own pool, I just do not want that additional risk right now.
My children have taken swim lessons but they were group lessons at the YMCA. Unfortunately, I don't think it was a good fit for my children as they did not seem to learn as much as I had expected them to.  Because of that, I had planned to enroll the kids in private lessons soon.  The incident this evening is causing me to think that I should expedite that plan soon. I realize swimming lessons are not the cure-all but I would feel much more comfortable if my kids would at least learn the basics of water survival, especially during those times when I may not be able to go and supervise and ensure my children's safety. 
I am so very thankful that tonight's incident did not end in another tragic story.  And even as hot as it was outside, I am so thankful that I had gone with my family instead of staying home like I wanted to.  And I am even more grateful for that other mom who heard me and pulled my son to safety. Life is precious.  And God was good to me tonight.

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