My Worst Nightmare…
Since the kiddos are off at Grandma’s today (and it is quiet) I thought I would attempt to write about something that happened recently.
Yesterday’s post about our adventure at the creek was followed by a rather traumatic adventure. The kids wanted to play in water because it was a hot day. The creek didn’t have very many good spots so we ended up at a nearby river that we had been to before.
In previous times, we were at a different spot on this river that had a lot of very shallow areas and not very many deep ones. This new spot, a little farther upstream had more deep spots. Danny was fishing and swimming and the kids were playing in the water. There were quite a few other people around and some little kids that were throwing sticks for Daisy. She LOVES swimming out for sticks.
We were there for close to 2 hours and most everyone had left. Grace wanted Danny to help her with her swimming so they were in a spot that she could touch the ground in. Owen was there too. He is more adventurous and was actually doing better than Grace about trying things out.
I walked about 20 feet away. Then Danny decided to cast his line and started heading upstream (not far).
I realized that we were too far from them and started to walk back towards the kids. At that same time Grace says to me (as she is laughing) “Mommy, come here, Owen’s making funny noises with his mouth! You should come hear him.”
I start walking a bit more quickly, but the ground was very uneven and there were lots of little pools. I got within about 10 feet and could see his face as it was going under water and he was struggling to get back out.
I screamed for Danny and kept going. I got to the little pool and he was completely underwater and unable to get back up. I didn’t want to jump in because it was such a small space I didn’t want to hit him or land on him. So I moved around to the front of the pool and went in.
I got in almost to my waist and reached out and grabbed his arm and pulled him out. He had probably been under for about 15 seconds. He was able to hold his breath and he swallowed water but didn’t seem to inhale any water.
When I pulled him out he wasn’t coughing and he was awake and scared. He wouldn’t let us put him down. Danny carried him all the way back to the car. His little lips were blue. We bundled him up and by the time we had driven for a little while he was joking with Grace and seemed ok.
That night we brought him into bed with us just so we could keep an eye on him and see that he was really ok.
For the next couple of nights every time I tried to go to sleep all I could see was his face underwater, his arms frantically flailing about. I talked with a friend and she told me that I needed to stop seeing that vision, that I needed to replace it with what happened next, the part where I pulled him out, I saved him. Me hugging him. Danny holding him. That has helped quite a bit and I find I am able to do that.
Some of you who know me well know that I hate water. I love looking at it, but I don’t want to be in it or even very near it. I don’t even like to be splashed by it. I can’t swim. I have always feared that something would happen and I wouldn’t be able to do anything to help them.
I am so thankful that I was able to help him. I am still pretty angry that we were so irresponsible, that we let them play in/near water without life jackets. That won’t happen again. We know better. We knew better, but we did it anyway.
It took Owen about a week before he really said anything about what happened. When he did, he was sitting on a chair at my parents and blurted out “I was underwater and I couldn’t touch. I kept trying to touch the ground and I couldn’t and I was scared.”
Oddly, he doesn’t really want to go back to the river.
We’ll be getting some good life jackets first, and Mommy and the kiddos need some lessons…