You know those pool tubes for kids? The ones that keep them floating? On TOP of the water? Well, they don’t work when the kid is upside-down. Just be aware.
Graham decided to illustrate this point on the Fourth of July. We were having a family BBQ and pool party on Long Island. The kids were wearing their tubes. I was eating my burger, watching them play a game called Climb on the Floating Lounge Chair and Fall Off. Probably not surprisingly, Graham went overboard head first. Because he had the tube around his waist, he couldn’t right himself. He was stuck upside down under water. Violet and the 8-year-old they were playing with just stared at his flailing feet. I threw my burger down and flung myself to the edge of the pool (a whole yard away). Almost immediately I realized I couldn’t reach him. So I
dove gracefully into the water flopped into the water, my skirt flipping up in the process. After about 20 years I was able to grab Graham and haul him out. He coughed and started to cry. We stood there, shivering, everyone at the party staring in shocked silence.
“That was my lesson!” Graham said when he was finally able to speak. I’m not exactly sure what his lesson was… maybe don’t play Climb on the Floating Lounge Chair? But I know what my lesson was: Don’t Look Away. Not even for a minute. Not even with other swimmers nearby. He went under so quickly and quietly. Violet and her friend had no idea that he was in trouble. What if, instead of watching them, I’d been chatting, or grabbing a drink or… ? I don’t want to think about it. I’ve not been as vigilant as I could’ve been in the past. This was a wake-up call.
Swim lessons are scheduled for next week. Life-savers for professional use only.
And thanks to Aunt Kathy for loaning me dry clothes.