My son almost drowned last week…in a pool full of lifeguards…during a swim lesson. And, truthfully, the experience still haunts me.
A part of me is grieving the loss of his childhood innocence.
A part of me is grieving the loss of parenthood innocence.
Death, even if touched only briefly, has this way of dulling even the brightest star in the sky.
At first, I was angry and wanted to point blame. I began with those in the pool, transitioned to the lifeguards around the perimeter, then finally settled on myself.
But, if I’m honest, the guilt didn’t last long. Hover parenting isn’t my style.
And what I came to is this: I am a Christian, and my response must be different. It also helped that – even after vomiting three times – my son begged me to return to lessons this past week.
So what was I to do? Unfortunately, you can’t Google your way to resolution with such a unique parenting crisis.
Instead, I prayed for discernment and immediately sensed clear direction: WAIT. For four days, I embraced my little boy and tried to cope by losing myself in long runs.
The next step, after my raging emotions were calmed, was contact with the aquatics center. During a 30-minute meeting with management, I offered suggestions for changes that may help prevent every parent’s worst nightmare in the pool.
Overall, the directors very receptive and the scene at our most recent lesson indicated that my voice was heard.
And, finally, the child piece. After all, when you’re a parent, your little ones watch your every move to reconcile their own struggles.
So a few days ago, my son and I made a thank you card for his swim instructor – ultimately the one who saved him. It was a simple message but spoken from the heart.
Over the last two weeks, I have been reminded that life is so fleeting – that our precious kids won’t always be within reach. But God shines His light on every moment.
And I praise Him for a little boy’s strength to hold on and a mother’s peace to forgive.
One Year Ago: Things Fall Apart
Two Years Ago: The Wait of 30