Wednesday, August 1, 2012

In That Split Second

We had talked about that point when our little girl would tumble into the pool by accident. She’s coming up on eighteen months now and loves the water but still hasn’t dunked her head under completely. She spends a lot of time walking up and down the steps and floating in her inflatable bee.

Of course as soon as we mentioned it this past week, her foot slipped on the second step and she fell backward into the pool. She quickly spun around underwater so that her belly faced the bottom of the pool … her mom’s hands were already reaching and pulling her out of the water. She had held her breath like we showed her, and she was still holding her breath until her mommy told her to breathe which she did. I reassured her she’s ok. We immediately took her back into the water so she wouldn’t be afraid the next time, and she hasn’t been afraid since.

Everything seemed to go textbook perfect for such a situation. But it bothered the hell out of me for days after because of the sheer helplessness in that spit second Ava was scrambling underwater. Man, a parent doesn’t like to see that vulnerability.

13 comments:

Andrez Bergen said...

David, hope all is OK now - I know precisely what you mean, since our 6 year-old fractured her arm yesterday in the playground... ouch. And unbelievably stressful.

David Cranmer said...

I'm so sorry to hear that, Andrez. Yes, that has to be stressful. How long does she have to wear a cast?

Our daughter is fine and were headed out to the pool again in a few minutes.

Chudney Thomas said...

David, we had both girls jump in feet first when they were both two. Fortunately we were there, but I totally get what you mean.

The most we can do as parents is to prepare them and teach them how to deal with unexpected situations.

Andrez, I've been there and I still freak out years later (internally of course) if something happens to that arm.

Leah J. Utas said...

I'm glad it worked out. Good for you for teaching her to hold her breath and doubly good on her for doing it.

G. B. Miller said...

Definitely a good way to make a few more hairs go gray.

Similiar incident with my son back when was about my daughters age. He fell off a rock he was playing, so I ran out to him, scooped him up, bad shoulder and all, and carried him all the way into the house and stayed with him until he was good enough to back out and play.

David Cranmer said...

Chudney, I'm sure any parent who cares has that same feeling that I do.

She's a trooper, Leah. She never even cried.

You're a good dad, G. That kinda caring sticks with them.

Sarah Laurence said...

I'm impressed that at 18 months she held her breath and didn't panic. You are doing a fine job as a parent if your teaching your child to cope in a crisis. Especially in Maine, a kid must know how to deal with water.

My baby just turned 18. I'm freaking out about him swimming out in the world in a year from now. We can only teach them survival skills and hope they will remember them.

Kieran Shea said...

When you become a parent no one ever has the heart to tell you...you now (and for the rest of your life) live on the edge of impossible, core shattering grief. Been in that scenario twice, man.....

Ron Scheer said...

Parenting teaches you more than you ever wanted to know about human life. I say this with all the kindness in my heart.

Charles Gramlich said...

Parenting is a crash course in making yourself vulnerable.

David Cranmer said...

Baby just turned 18! Damn I bet the time flew by, Sarah. How do we slow it down?

Kieran, "Core shattering grief." Yeah. And I’m a paranoid kinda guy which doesn’t help.

Of that I’m sure, Ron. But well said, sir.

I see that now, Charles.

Reb said...

good thing you had already taught her to hold her breath. Too bad you can't prepare her for every little thing that is going to come up in her life, but I know you will do a great job trying and will give her the tools to make smart decisions when she is older.

Andrez Bergen said...

Great to hear she's fine, David. Ours too - she had what's called a "greenstick fracture", so the bone was slightly bent, and no cast necessary but we have to keep her arm bandaged a few weeks.