I don’t want to worry the grandparents, but I guess I should share my little scare we had yesterday at our local One Mile Lake.
It was a day as-hot-as-barbequed-corn-on-the-cob and I decided to take the guys to the local lake for a change of scenery and a cool dip. We loaded up the chariot on the back of “Heidi”, my limited edition Electra Cruiser, complete with wicker basket, white leather padded seat and painted flower designs on the fenders, yes I am a kid in a grown-up’s body, and rode the short distance to the swimming side of the lake.
After setting up for the afternoon under a shady tree, I dressed the boys in their lycra suits and hats, slapped some sunscreen on their exposed bits and carried them each on a hip to the shoreline. We stood for a few minutes with just their feet under the water, as this was officially only their second time at a lake, and once they started to relax their death grip around my thighs and commenced with splashing water and exclaiming excitedly, I thought it a good idea to wade in a little deeper. Now don’t get your nickers in a knot grandmas! The scary part hasn’t even happened yet. Just hang on and hear the rest of the story.
So with Ryan clinging to my left knee, Logan on my right and I crouched over them holding on to their inside arm, we waddle-wade in to about my ankle level, again taking our time, letting the boys adjust to the new depth and get comfortable with it. More splashing resumes and high pitched squeals like the baby dragons they are. (My previously naked monkeys have now become baby dragons).
Ryan was proving to be a bit braver than Logan (surprisingly) and he is sitting down in the water, and letting go of one hand around my leg to pick up some sand and gravel. Logan is bouncing up and down but still holding on to me with both hands and poking his head between my shins. Ryan moves around my left leg so that he is holding on to the back of my knees and the Logan maneuvers around to take full position at my front.
All of a sudden, I get a weird feeling and realize that I am no longer hearing any splashing sounds from Ryan. I immediately swing around with Logan’s hand in mine, and see that Ryan is face-down in the water, spread eagle with his little arms waving frantically. I surprised myself with the quickest reaction time I have ever had, as I tend to be a hyper-active, pre-diagnosed-ADHA, type-B personality I always wondered if the fit hit the fan, would I curl up in fetal position and weep, or would I channel my inner Superhero. Luckily Supergirl won out this time, as I swooped down, with Logan tucked into my right side, I yanked Ryan out of the water, propped him onto my left knee and started to clap his back.
My amazing little boy only coughed a few times and blinking, tried to wipe the water from his eyes. He didn’t cry. He didn’t swallow any water as we have been practicing in the bathtub with bowls of water poured over his face. And he didn’t cry. I cried. But Ryan didn’t.
I sat at the edge of the shore, panting mostly from fear, and squeezed the bejeezes out of my two boys. It was like my life passed before my eyes and it was ingrained into my soul how easily their little lives could be taken from me, how that would feel, how hard it would be to live after your child passes and how I mustn’t ever ever assume they are safe in two inches depth of water.
Even now, I am close to crying writing this, re-imagining the worst, but I have my sister, Auntie Brynnee, here now so we are preparing to head back to the lake after the boys wake from their nap, and with two sets of hands, will wade slowly into the lake again.