Tuesday, March 11, 2014

I still say manatees are terrifying

I hate to spend too much time discussing the weather, but I think the fact that it's in the 70s warrants a mention.  Especially since it's supposed to snow (again) (no really) (OMG) tomorrow night.  

Also, if we talk about the weather then I don't have to mention that I'm singlehandedly responsible for my water-bug of a son currently refusing to put his toes in the pool.

I know what you're thinking.  And no - I did not instill my ginormous fear of sharks into him.  I mean, I think it's totally normal to fear a shark biting your toes in the swimming pool, but still I did not want to burden my children with that.  I prefer to let them find out for themselves.

So I've always been careful to not talk about how scary they are.  I discuss how I don't like them, but that they only bite when they are punched in the face or if they think you are a tasty, tasty seal.  So nope.  Not sharks.

The issue was that he wanted to show me how far he could swim.  I don't always swim with Chris and the kids when they go to the indoor pool, so Sebastian likes to keep me up-to-date on his progress.  

The pool is in our gym, and Chris and I worked out while the kids played at the daycare.  I hadn't changed out of my workout clothes yet because I thought it would be too difficult with two children in the small changing room.  

So the kids jumped into the pool by themselves while I sat on the edge since Chris was swimming laps.  Adele had floaties on so she was fine.  But Sebastian, I guess I thought he was a bit more advanced than he actually was.  Plus I struggle daily with being the overprotective mother.  I make it a point to step back and let my kids do things themselves because that's the only way they'll learn.  And if I helicopter them I’m not teaching them how to be independent, functional adults.  This was a conversation I had with myself, in my head, in the two seconds after he said “Let me show you how far I can swim!” and before I said "Sure! Show me what you can do!"

This time I was wrong. 

Sebastian made it almost all the way to the ropes that separate the swimming pool with the lap swimmers.  I saw him start to struggle, and I knew he wasn't going to make it.

I got the lifeguard's attention, but apparently he thought I was just signaling him to watch Sebastian, instead of telling him that he needed to get my kid out of the pool right that second.

Sebastian was sort of treading water, but having trouble keeping his head up. He never went under, thank goodness.  He yelled out that he needed some help, which finally got the lifeguard in the pool. And everything was fine.  Totally fine. 

Except for my tender mother heart that wouldn't stop beating frantically.

And except for the fact that Sebastian refuses to go back into the water and I feel completely responsible.

I shouldn't have let him swim that far away from me alone.  I should have jumped in after him.  I should have just put my bathing suit on in the beginning.

I hope that this will not be a defining moment in his life, or if it is, that it doesn't affect him negatively.  

I am not a good swimmer, but Chris is.  And I want them to have that.  Because when you aren't comfortable in the water you fear it.  And I want my kids to snorkel and scuba dive without hyperventilating over a rock that looks like a manatee.  (The cows of the sea.  Yes, I was terrified of a manatee-shaped rock.) 

The lifeguard, who I am forever grateful to, told Sebastian that that's what got him started on his swimming career - he almost drowned in a friend’s pool.  Sebastian at that point understandably didn't want to do anything but go home and I’m not sure was paying attention, but I hope he heard what the lifeguard said.

I hope that he jumps back in, literally.  

I hope that this is another non-issue that I am overreacting about.  

(Weren't we supposed to be talking about the weather?)

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