The longer I stay away, the more I feel I need to explain my absence. I'm not sure why. Maybe I'm really explaining it to myself. Life got busy at the end of the school year. My brainiac graduated from 5Th grade and both the boys were playing baseball so we spent most of our spare time happily watching our boys participate and most of our money at Jersey Mikes.
We spent a week at the beach with our boys plus 2; they each brought a friend. Sounded like a good idea in theory but it made me nervous to be responsible for two other precious lives while I watched the waves pummel and toss them in the angry sea. I gave them the rip tide speech every day.
If you get caught in a rip-tide swim parallel to the shore until you swim out of it. Whatever you do...
We know, we know, they said rolling their eyes for effect, you told us yesterday.
I'm more than a little nervous around water and kids.
When I was 4 or 5, my father hurled me up on his shoulders and waded into the ocean. It wasn't long before a nasty wave knocked us about and I was separated from him, tumbling in the foam and water. I had no idea how to swim. I was at the end of breath (which was probably 5 seconds) when my dad plucked me from the waves, dramatically saving my life. At least that is how I remember it.
Fast forward 30 years. My boys were 2 and 5 years old. We were swimming at an Asheville pool over Memorial Day weekend. I guess I heard the man's voice first - Lifeguard, help me. She's not breathing. I looked up to see a man in the middle of the pool holding a limp girl. The teenage lifeguard seemed to freeze and moved off of his stand at a snail's pace. The first responder, was another dad at the pool. My husband assisted. We cleared the pool and everyone became eerily quiet, except my two year old who wanted a snack. We watched the two responders work on the girl for what seemed inordinately long while her Dad stood over them, his hands clasped towards the sky in prayer. My boys and I said prayers also. Finally, the girl lurched and water came pouring from her tiny body. She lived.
Later my husband told me it was the first time that the first responder had done CPR. And that the girl had no femoral pulse. She was gone. Thank goodness for their quick response.
So swimming at the ocean with 4 boys wasn't my idea of relaxation. But they seemed to enjoy it. And we all came home in one piece.