This Is What Happened When My Son Nearly Drowned
True to my fiercely determined nature, I figured out how to take my young sons to the local pond to swim and play on the beach despite having a disability. They were 2 and 4 years old. I needed a bulky brace on my leg and a cane to walk. I was fed up with having so many limitations on what we could do together. Many of their friends were members of the community beach.
My boys were exceptionally helpful and cooperative about going places with me. A friend once watched them pack up their belongings at the pool and carry them to the car. She was accustomed to doing everything for her kids and was amazed that mine did this for themselves. It was simply a necessity because I was physically unable to do it.
I saw that there was handicapped parking at the pond at water level so I wouldn’t have to walk down a steep set of steps that had no handrails. My sons carried my chair and our bags with their sunscreen and towels. I became used to being stared at by the other moms and their kids as I labored through the sand to get to the shady spot under the one large tree on the beach.
I had a few friends at the beach who were helpful with putting sunscreen on my kids and setting up my chair. There were many hours of playing in the sand and splashing around in the water for my sons. I stayed in my chair.
I never took my eyes off my boys at the beach. I enjoyed watching them have fun. I envied the other mothers who were able to run around with their kids and go in the water with them.
There was a rope in the pond that delineated where it became too deep to stand. Kids needed to pass a test to be allowed to swim past the rope out to the floating wooden raft in the “deep part”. My 4 year old knew how to swim and had passed the test.
I watched my 2 year old son follow his big brother as he swam toward the rope. He didn’t know how to swim. My older boy kept going as his brother started going under. My instinct was to run in after him and save him, but I couldn’t.
I looked at the young lifeguard who was on duty. She was twirling her whistle on a lanyard. I shouted, “Excuse me, but could you go get my son? I think he’s drowning”.
She ran out of her chair and swam the short distance to where my son was failing to come to the surface. They were on the shore in no time. Both of my boys were scared, and I was thoroughly freaked out by how quickly my baby’s life could have ended right in front of me.
It felt terrible to not be able to jump up and run to save my own son’s life. But I realized later that I did in fact save his life because I could see, speak and think. Many stroke survivors don’t have these abilitites.
This was one very impactful incident that forever kept my focus on all I have to be grateful for.
Thank you for reading :)