I will never forget the moment I saw him walk into the house fully clothed, soaking wet, and hearing him say the words, "I fell into the pool."
My heart stopped.
My stomach dropped to my toes.
It was too close of a call.
This is exactly what happened to me this weekend. My two oldest boys, Jackson and Cullen, went over to a neighbors house to play. About an hour and a half later, I see Jackson riding his scooter down the driveway through the window a good hour and a half before I told him he had to be home.
I went to the back door to find out what was going on when the door opened, and I got a good look at him. He stood there in his jeans, shoes, and sweatshirt soaking wet. Every inch of him was wet. He stood there, shivering, telling Andrew and I he fell back into our neighbors pool, and he was sorry.
The poor kid thought he was in trouble.
I had so many emotions running through me. Grateful he had the presence of mind to tread water until his friend could help him get out. Thankfulness that this didn't end in the worst case scenario. And anger. Lots and lots of anger.
Anger after he told us the parents didn't come help him out. Anger the parents didn't walk him home to tell us what happened. Anger they didn't have a fence around the pool. And anger at the parents who weren't watching the kids properly.
After getting him dried, warmed up, and in new clothes, he just wanted to go back outside to play. We let him because we didn't want him to be traumatize or scared.
The situation could have turned out completely different. I'm thankful to God and Jackson's Guardian Angel it didn't. But I can't help being angry because the entire situation could have been avoided in the first place.
Jackson knows he's not allowed in a pool without Andrew or I present. But he's also 6, and when playing light sabers, noticing your surroundings isn't a priority.
Andrew and I, both being former lifeguards and lifeguard instructors, are well aware of the dangers of pools. We've both seen it with our own eyes. At Andrew's insistence, we've never allowed our kids to have floaties in the pool because we didn't want to give them a false sense of security. We wanted them to be aware of the fact they will sink. We've always wanted them to have a good time and fun in the pool, but we also wanted them to have respect and a healthy dose of fear. And now, I'm more glad than ever we did this.
As much as I get frustrated and irritated with my children on a daily basis, I love them fiercely. I love their smiles and personalities. I never want that taken away from me.
Hug your kids tight tonight. Because life is too precious.