On Father's Day (of all days), Brody almost drowned. I have chills as I type the words in black and white. We were at Grandma Johnson's house with Jonathan's sister, Jennifer, and her family. Jennifer's kids had all suited up and were splashing around in the pool as I tried to figure out what to do. Jonathan and I had forgotten to bring bathing suits that afternoon, but I didn't want Brody to miss out on his chance to swim with his cousins...they don't get to see each other often.
Collin, Jennifer's youngest son, was wearing one pair of arm floaties. I tried to blow up the other pair of arm floaties, but there was a hole in one of them and it would only blow up half-way. I felt bad that Brody wasn't able to get in the water with the rest of the kids. Jennifer remembered a baby ring float that Grandma had stored away and went to get it for me. We put Brody's legs through the two holes and gently set him down into the water with his cousins. He immediately began splashing around with the big kids. He was having fun and I was happy to see him enjoying the pool with family.
Jennifer and I were standing near the edge of the pool, catching up, while keeping a close eye on the kids. She was feeling bad that Brody didn't have any arm floaties and suggested we switch one of Collin's for the one that wouldn't blow up completely since Collin is on his way to becoming and independent swimmer. She called Collin out of the pool and began to switch the arm floaties, but Collin was feeling scared and did not want to wear the half-blown up floatie. I was telling Jennifer not to push him since he was feeling insecure about it when Lauren, Jennifer's oldest daughter, began saying, "Hey! The baby! The baby! The baby!"
I turned my head around to see the most horrific sight I hope to ever see. Brody had fallen out of his ring float and was immersed, motionless, in the water. He was next to the edge of the pool so I quickly ran over to the side and scooped him up into my arms. He began coughing immediately and I embraced him so tightly as I patted him on the back. (Yes, I am CPR certified and I know better, but when it is your own child you cannot think straight.) Jennifer, clothes drenched from jumping in the pool to try and get to Brody, took him from me, turned him upsidedown and hit his back several times.
He had been coughing and crying from the minute I pulled him out of the pool. He didn't seem like he had swallowed any water, but his lips were slightly pale (I suspect from holding his breath). He cried for only a minute or so and he snuggled for maybe three more, but after that he was wanting to get back in the pool. So Grandma Johnson jumped in the pool with her clothes and let him swim with her for awhile. We were all so happy to see him unshaken and "getting back on the horse" so soon.
I am so thankful for three main reasons:
1. Lauren yelled out to alert me. She is the absolute HERO in this story, and I will forever be grateful to her for her quick thinking and courage to yell out, at only six year old!
2. Jennifer knew what to do when I couldn't think straight. I know she feels bad because she "snatched him from me," but I am so thankful she did! She was thinking clearly and made sure that Brody did not swallow any water. I would never, ever be upset at her for taking him from me at that moment.
3. Brody took swim lessons back in April. The lessons he took were not actual swim lessons but more like water acclimation classes. So even though he didn't know how to swim, he knew to hold his breath underwater. He never swallowed an ounce of water!
I have thought about all of this every single day since and praise the Lord for his protection over Brody that day. I am so thankful for his mercy.
And, in case you are wondering, we have since bought Brody a float vest and arm floaties. He is extra covered in floatation devices and I will never again let myself get comfortable with him in the pool, not even for a second.
I linked up with Shell at Things I Can't Say.