Don’t Take Safety for Granted

June 29, 2008

I’m sure there are some perfect moms out there who, like Leah, will seize upon this as an opportunity to tell me what an irresponsible parent I am and how no child should be have to be burdened with the likes of me as their primary caregiver. If that is you, give yourself a high-five for being such a perfect parent and click on something else to read. If, however, you’re an imperfect mom who truly wants the best for her kids but sometimes makes mistakes, faulty assumptions, and/or bad judgment calls, please read on.

This evening we had a small cookout/pool party for Sophia’s Daisy troop. Toward the end of the evening, the kids were all playing in the pool, the men were in the house talking about (what else?) airsoft weapons, and that of course left the moms to start cleaning up. Once we got all of the food items inside, I began putting things away — leftovers in containers, drinks in the fridge, etc. I’m the type of person who is OCD enough that I cannot do anything until the basic clean up tasks are taken care of.

But tonight I couldn’t clean up. I felt compelled to go back out to the pool.

Sophia and three other children were in the shallow end of the pool playing. I didn’t really know what to do (or why I was there, for that matter!), so I sat on the side of the pool, put my legs in the water, and started to blow bubbles. The kids decided it would be fun to try and shoot the bubbles with the water guns we had out. Sophia didn’t like the water gun she had, though, so she decided to go get one that was laying on the pool deck at the opposite end of the pool. She got out of the water and walked down there, while I continued blowing bubbles and the other kids continued tried to shoot them.

When I looked up again, it was to see my daughter’s terrified eyes and hands sticking up above the water in the deep end of the pool. She had fallen into the pool, into water that was over her head. I ran through the water (it’s a small pool — the shallow end is only 2.5 feet deep and the deep end is only 5 ft deep) and pulled her up onto the side of the pool, where she started screaming and crying and choking a little from the pool water she’d ingested.

I praise God for having me there at the right time to save her from what would have otherwise been a certain death. The other children were unaware of what had happened until I took off to get her and even if they had been aware, I don’t think they would have been able to do anything to help.

There was absolutely no reason for me to think that my child wouldn’t be safe. Even when I felt compelled to go out to the pool, it didn’t occur to me that I needed to be there to supervise the children. The water in the shallow end of the pool, which Sophia never leaves without a floatie of some sort, is less than three feet deep! For that matter, she wasn’t even in the pool when she ended up nearly drowning! She was walking around the pool and somehow — even she doesn’t know how it happened — she ended up falling into the water. Maybe she tripped over another toy, maybe she was too close to the edge, maybe she stopped to tug on her shoe and while standing on one leg she lost her balance. I don’t know and neither does she.

It was basically just a freak accident — the kind of accident that I thought would never happen to me or my family, but sure enough, it did. So please, never assume that your children are or will be safe. No matter how familiar the environment, no matter how comfortable they seem. You just don’t know when something might happen to endanger them.



  1. we’re 3 for 3. each of our kids has figured out a way to nearly drown themselves. each time… we have been close enough…. we say life is like a constant field trip: endless counting of heads.

    we’ll look at each other after an incident like this and say, ‘we get the rotten parent award.’

    glad my buddy is okay. praise our provident and gracious Lord.

  2. Thank the lord you were there and she is ok. How very scary for the both of you.

  3. Thank God she is okay and that you were there. Don’t beat yourself up. Every parent has a close call at some time or other. That’s when we grab our children, hold them tight and know just how wonderful and precious they are.

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