Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Sink or Swim

When we took this photo, we had no idea how much we truly were living on the edge. 
We were on vacation.  When nothing bad can happen. Right?

We were so naive.

When we decided to leave the pool, we removed the kids' life jackets. As he has so often done, Max declared that he didn't need swimming lessons or a life jacket because he already knew how to swim.

Then he jumped in.

We've all heard the saying "sink or swim." I figured he'd get a little scared and then realize that some skills need to be learned. Maybe, I thought, this would be a good lesson.

We all watched him. He was only a couple of feet from me. He seemed fine. Maybe Max had been right all along and he truly could swim.  He has a build similar to Olympian Michael Phelps --long body, big feet, broad shoulders.  Maybe he would show us all. Good for him.

His eyes were wide and he had a dazed smile on his face--like maybe he was surprised.  He moved his arms and legs like he was trying to move toward the stairs and climb them. He opened his mouth as if to speak and then closed it.

That's when Garrett jumped in and pulled him into his arms.

Thank God.   Thank God Garrett was there.  Reality punched me in the gut.  We'd all been watching him struggle right in front of me, but I thought he was okay. Thank God Garrett was there.

Not long after we returned a friend posted this article on Facebook, and I lost it.  Full blown tears. If I'd been unnerved at the pool, I was terrified when I read the article. We are so, so lucky.

Read this article.  Drowning doesn't look like it does on television.  Know the signs.

Max splashed through his first official swim lesson today.  He wasn't scared, and he didn't have false bravado either. When the instructor asked for a volunteer, I heard his little voice ring out. "I can try."
And he did.


  1. Brandi, this is great information. I'm going to make sure Kristin reads this article. So sorry for Max's misadventure but glad he wasn't traumatized by it and is not afraid of the water.

    1. Please share with Kristin and anyone else, Dee Dee. I had no idea drowning was so...calm. If our family experienced this frightening event so that more people can take their babies home safely from a swimming pool, then I'm grateful.

  2. Oh how scary! I'm glad everyone is okay. I read the same article as you did. In fact this weekend I was sitting in a kiddie pool with Annaley and she started to mimic what the other kids were doing and before I knew it she was out of my hands. I was right there, but she still swallowed a lot of water, but refused to get out (her Daddy wanted to hold her so badly). That was scary enough for me. Again glad everyone is okay.

  3. Poor little Annaley! Our little ones must be on the verge of catastrophe all the time, yet our species survives. I swear if I actually had a clue as to how often my kids were almost hurt I'd rarely sleep.

  4. Scary stuff. As a lifeguard, I can tell you that the two people who I did have to save did not look like they were drowning at all. (I had to save one person who thought she was drowning and she did look like she was. But we were having a conversation and that just doesn't happen.)

    Glad he's okay and learning to swim!