According to the Orange County Fire Authority, drowning rates rise by 89% between the months of May and August. Already, the Fire Authority has responded to eight near-drownings in 2012. Six of them occurred in the past week. All of the victims belonged to the 12 and under age group.
If I read this statistic a week ago, I would've said, "I just don't get how it can go up by that much. How do that many parents not know that their child is missing...?"
This all changed last weekend.
I was one of "those" parents. Except my story had a good ending.
We were in Palm Desert with my parents for the weekend. We went down the street to friends' house for dinner. On the way there, we let the boys play with a remote controlled boat that they had gotten for Christmas in the nearby golf course lake (with supervision, of course).
Everyone was called in for dinner. Cooper brought the boat back up to the house. People were dishing up. I had just given Beau a piece of chicken...so I knew he was near... or so I thought.
A few minutes later, we all heard the cry of a child that just didn't sound right. I jumped out of my chair, looked outside, and had a clear view of Beau coming up from the lake, soaking wet from head to toe, crying... "I fall in. Scaaawy." (scary)
He had fallen in...and gotten out. ON. HIS. OWN.
For the record, he doesn't know how to swim. AT ALL.
I can't tell you how this rocked me to the core.
How did this happen? What happened? What was he thinking when he went in and I wasn't there to help him? What if he hadn't gotten his bearings in the water? How could I have not known he wasn't in the house anymore? How did he know to open the gate? What if? What if? What if?
I had to stop. Cooper said it perfectly.
This just once again confirms that we serve a God who is watching over our children even when we are not there.
I have to let go of the what-ifs and hold on to that truth. It is so hard.
So, today... we signed Beau up for swim lessons and I have started planning a CPR/ Choking Class that I will be hosting.
And, for the record, I can no longer question other parents. I am responsible. I watch over my kids. I don't let them run wild with no supervision.
And "it" almost happened to me.