Ava almost drowned when she was four years old. This is a summer story about water safety.
As we approach summer I have noticed a lot more talk than usual on Facebook about drowning. There was an article recently circulating on what to look for when kids are drowning. This was interesting because as outlined in the articles, drowning in real life just doesn’t look the way it does in the movies. There is typically no screaming and yelling and waving arms up in the air for help when people are drowning. They are not able to do that, because they are drowning. Duh. Then there were the personal blogs about near drowning experiences. Again, it was a surprise to learn how easily and quickly a child drowning can occur, even amidst adults.
So I woke up at 5am thinking about drowning this morning. I do have four children eight years and under, and there is a pool in my backyard.
Now let me tell you my drowning story.
Ava started swimming on her own when she was two. She was rather young to be able to swim on her own but she is Ava after all, so she was swimming by two. By the time she was four I was very confident about Ava’s skills. She was very capable and strong in the water (even though she didn’t have any technique). Ava was even on the local swim team.
We were at an end of preschool party. All the moms were sitting around the pool chatting while our kids were swimming. Some moms were in the pool helping their children swim. As I was chatting with a friend I glanced over and noticed Ava yelling for help (which does go against what the experts say happens when people are drowning). I couldn’t figure it out. I strained my eyes and looked hard. I saw Ava going under the water and coming back up briefly for air. I heard Ava yelling for help. I asked myself why after swimming on her own for two years, was Ava drowning? I couldn’t make any sense of it.
Then I jumped in the pool with all my clothes on. I swam over and grabbed Ava.
Ava was being pulled under water in the deep-end by a boy who was panicking in the water and was using Ava as a raft to save himself. Ava could have easily drowned that day. The really scary part was that there were adults everywhere who didn’t notice Ava being pulled underwater by her classmate. The mom of the kid who was pulling Ava underwater was standing no more than 10 feet away in the pool, but she was preoccupied with her younger daughter.
Ava still talks about the kid who almost drowned her four years ago.
I did find that I wrote about it in my blog four years ago. I reluctantly provide you with the link here. I say reluctantly because my blog style has changed so much in four years and I was surprised to see how long and drawn out my posts used to be.
I am convinced that Ava’s near drowning experience happened to me for a reason. It happened as a warning for me to never feel too confident and comfortable when my kids are in the pool. . . even if they do know how to swim.
Until next time, the mothership is signing off.