>> Monday, July 23, 2012
Call it what you will. If you know me personally you know that I am a bit on the overprotective side. I know this. It was also how I was raised by my great grandmother so why wouldn't I be the same? My kids aren't the "cool" kids, they are the ones who have to play it safe because "My Mom won't let me." Bummer right? Recently I learned a very valuable lesson. Being overprotective isn't all that bad.
Last week a friend invited us to their community pool to swim. I am a nervous wreck in pool situations. Like until this season I have made our 5 year old wear a swim vest (insert *eyeroll* from 5 year old here). I don't let our girls outside of our fence without a life vest on because we live on the lake. Our water isn't even over their heads but still it is a "wear it or don't go!" Period.
My friend, Steph, and I decided to order pizza for the families and Ruby asked to take off her vest. I have never let her do this. After a few times of her asking I let her. Where was my head? What was I thinking? I didn't want to hear her whine? Plus we were eating away from the pool. Everyone was told not to go in the water and to let their stomachs settle. While Steph and I were cleaning up the table Violet yelled "Mama, Ruby isn't wearing her life vest and she's sinking!" Oh.My.Gosh! My heart stopped. Thankfully Steph was already running and jumped in and got her. She was fine and was holding her breath trying to doggie paddle but definitely under water. That fast. Steph was shaking. I was shaking. Our baby loves the water and just wanted to put her life vest on and get back in not even realizing how dangerous of a situation she was in. 3 year olds don't understand drowning and I failed her by allowing her to wear me down and take her vest off. Again, what the heck was I thinking?
I know my child will never get to take her vest off again. We have all probably heard a similar story before. It can happen in an instant. There was no splash, there was no struggle, my girl just basically sunk even trying to swim. I have beat myself up so many times over the past few days over this. I have cried over it. I have major guilt over it. It was the first and ONLY time that I ever let one of my kids around water without their vest and my girl almost drowned. Water should not be feared but it should be respected. Valuable lesson learned the hard way!