Today we had church in the park in downtown Kirkland. Afterwards, Benji wanted to go in the water, and we said OK, since we brought his boots along. I told him to not let the water go over the yellow part of his boots, but that didn’t account for squatting down in the water. Silly me.
On a more serious note, later some bigger kids were playing in the water, too, and Benji went in deeper and deeper after them. Ian and I called him back a few times, and he sort of came back. Next time, I’m going to set boundaries – if you go in over the yellow part, we’re going home, period. No pushing the limits. Anyway, he slipped on the rocks and fell on his bum a few times, but one of the girls helped him up again.
But then he was out deeper than I was comfortable with, and he slipped and fell face forward in water where he couldn’t reach the bottom with his arms to push up again. He flailed around and at first looked like he was playing again… But I knew he couldn’t swim. In about one second I dashed into the water and pulled him out. He was coughing and gagging on water, terrified and crying, water coming out of his mouth and nose. I brought him out and made sure he was breathing normally, and he was. Thank You, God
It was horrible.
I’ve already been having nightmares since seeing the picture of that 3 year old Syrian boy who downed, and now only days later Benji – who hasn’t spent much time around water, and we rarely go near lakes or anything other than bath tubs – could almost have… It’s unthinkable. But I can’t stop thinking it, now.
I’m so grateful I went and got him immediately, and didn’t just think he was playing, like all the other parents watching. I’m so grateful he’s fine. I’m so horrified and sick at the thought of how close we were to an entirely different outcome.
I don’t think I’ll be sleeping well for a long, long time.