It’s March Break, you’re packing your suitcase and headed away to a sunny destination, or maybe an indoor waterpark – or perhaps a staycation in a nearby hotel with a pool. Before you go, take a moment to read an article that was posted a few summers on our momstownBurlington message board – Drowning Doesn’tLook Like Drowning. I read it, I shared it, I felt it was important enough to remember. The line “Parents: children playing in the water make noise. When they get quiet, you get to them and find out why” has always stuck in my head. Fast forward to our weekend away last weekend. It had some rather disastrous moments, including the fact that I got the flu. So when it came time to go down to the pool with the kids, I sat on the edge and asked Hubby to go in with them.
As Hubby splashed with our oldest, our 3 year old twins played and floated on the stairs. Bug took particular delight in holding on to the hand rail and letting her legs float up from underneath her. I watched the three of them enjoy the water in the shallow and relatively small hotel pool. And then I caught sight of Bug. Her head had slipped under the water. She couldn’t get her balance. She was trying to bob up, but wasn’t making progress, because she couldn’t get her footing. She made no noise. Her arms didn’t break the surface. It was quiet. It was frightening. I was 2 feet away, and it was less than 3 feet of water.
Daddy reached her first and pulled her out of the water. After wrapping her in a towel and hearing her tell me that she couldn’t breathe – we had a serious cuddle. And then what happened you might ask? I let her go back to the water. What?! Back In?! All I knew was that, that particular moment could not define her memories of being in the water – even if it will always define mine. So Daddy stayed close, I stayed closer and she splashed away happily for 10 more minutes. All the while, my heart pounded, and I continued to remember that drowning doesn’t look the way it does in the movies, there are no screams for help and there are no big splashes.
So while you’re away this March Break. Please remember that kids make noise in the water, and watch them carefully. Enjoy every moment with your family and play safe.