Today I went to a party. It was lovely. Until I tried to take my daughter for a swim. She loves the pool and does well in the water. We stay close by her. She loves to hold our hands and jump in. She is almost two and learning to swim.
While she is my only child, I have been caring for children since I was 12. I have always loved children. As a baby sitter one of my strongest points in the summer time was that I would go into the pool with the kids, I knew very basic water rescue and a whole lot of pool safety. I know it only takes two seconds for something to go horribly wrong.
So I was watching today as one 3 year old jumped off the diving board nearly landing on another's head. My mother was there she freaked so she took the baby and I swam out to regulate the diving board jumping. I got them to take turns, make a line and swim to the side. All pretty standard issue stuff.
What I don't understand is there is this epidemic of parents who go into party mode. I am at a party there are other kids and adults here so I am going to let my kid run off and play with the other kids and not check on them for 5 hours. This is a bad idea, this is a horrible idea when there is a pool, with a deep end and a diving board. This is an awful idea if your kid can barely swim with swimmies on.
Here's the deal I couldn't walk away from these kids even though I didn't know half of them. As an adult I felt it was my responsibility to watch over them and keep them safe, especially the ones who were week swimmers. One of which jumped on to my back when I wasn't looking and then couldn't swim. One of which nearly hit their head on the concrete when copying the older kids. The thing was that I felt as if either I watched the kids and kept them safe or I was going to end up diving in and pulling one out of the water and performing rescue breathing.
It totally sucked. I wasn't the host of the party, I was a guest and I ended up working and not getting to enjoy my own daughter in the pool. I would like to tell you that maybe it was because today I was with moms who were almost all 10 years my junior but I have seen it happen in my peer group too.
I just don't understand and I never will, why someone would leave a child unattended near or in a pool. I know these parents, they all love their kids. I know it's easy to get distracted by friends and family. I just feel like there comes a point where only the safety of your kid matters.
Today I am grateful that when we celebrate my baby girl's second birthday next weekend there will be no pool involved.
May you be blessed by being a blessing to others.