Friday, June 15, 2012

Our wonderful, terrifying, almost nightmare of a day!

So I did NOT want to post this.
My pride wanted me to stop, so you guys wouldn't know what a foolish mistake I made today.
My heart wanted it to be forever forgotten.
But I am reminded that this is not just a blog about me or even about my kids.
It's a blog about could I not fall at His feet today in worship?!

The day started with a bustle of excitement.  Caleb running around with his bathing suit on and nothing else.  Everyone doing their chores super fast in hopes it would speed up the time it would take for us to get to the Soto's (our best family friends) to play and swim.
     Right before it was time to go I gathered the kids in the big empty living room and talked with them about some things that were on my heart.  (I don't do this as often as I would like)  I prayed for us to have a good time with our friends and that God would keep us all safe in the pool.  Then the kids busted out the door and piled into the van.
     When we got to our friends house the kids jumped into the frigid above-ground pool and began playing and laughing.  Seth wanted to join right away so I put him in over the side and he quickly changed his mind.  He spent the rest of the day playing with trucks on a nearby towel or sneaking snacks from Ms. Kim.
     Lunch time came and everyone got out of the pool and enjoyed a picnic on the grass, while Kim and I were inside feeding Asher and talking, keeping an eye on the kids outside.  I was mid-sentence when Kim yelled "SETH IS IN THE POOL!!!"  It was like time stood still as I pictured his bright yellow swimming shirt floating in the pool.  I pushed Kim as I ran to the pool.  I can't tell you what I saw except for a screaming crying Seth being held by Emma at the ladder.  I grabbed him and held him close and tried to make sense out of what my eyes were seeing as guilt already flooded my heart.
     Most of the kids were still sitting on the grass eating, unaware of what had almost happened.  7 year old Julian, another friend from the neighborhood, tried to fill me in.  Julian had just gotten in the pool and saw Seth climb the ladder, stand on the top rung and belly dive into the 3 foot water.  He saw him kick and realized he couldn't get up so he went and pulled him to the top of the water.  Immediately Seth started screaming and crying out of fear which scared Julian and made him think that Seth didn't want to be held so he let go of him.  Emma was nearby and had heard her brother crying and was already in the water by the time Julian was letting go of Seth and grabbed him and was bringing him to the ladder.  That was when I came out and realized what was happening!
     I thanked Julian over and over and told him that he had saved Seth's life!  That if he had not been in the pool or had not pulled him up, Emma never would have heard him and Seth would not be OK.  I could tell that all this information totally freaked the boy out so I let it be.  I immediately got back in the pool with a very reluctant Seth and played with him trying to undo the damage of my foolishness.  But my mind was racing.  He eventually settled down and began playing happily in the pool.
     Later I pulled Emma to the side and whispered how proud I was of her.  I asked her if she remembered how Mommy and Daddy tell her that God has a special plan for her?  When she nodded I told her "one of His plans was for you to save your little brother's life!"  I told her how relieved I was that she responded to his cry right away.  And I apologized that she had to bear the burden that was Mommy's responsibility.  
     All returned to normal but my brain was in overdrive.  How could I not have even thought about that?  I'm usually so cautious, especially around water!  It is my biggest fear!  What is wrong with me?!!!  What would've happened if Julian went home with his Dad the hour before when he had picked up his sister?  What if Emma wasn't such a little Mommy and ignored Seth's cries?  The flesh in me wondered how I could numb the pain and guilt that flooded my mind right away.  But a still small voice reminded me of where my mind should be.
     I should be overcome with gratitude for a God that watches over us.  Thankful that my children's well being isn't dependent on me alone!!  Grateful for Julian being in the water.  Grateful for Emma who loves her brother passionately and hates to hear him cry.  Grateful for a friend who knew exactly what and what not to say!  Grateful for a husband that didn't use the opportunity to turn the knife in my bleeding heart but instead showed me undeserved grace and love.  Grateful for the courage to write this blog so that Seth will one day know that God has a plan for him.   And hopeful that other parents will be more cautious than me.
     Grateful that tomorrow morning I will get to see these deep blue eyes, dimpled cheeks and sweet red lips... 

"The Lord will keep you from all harm-
He will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forever more."
Psalm 122:7-8


Melissa said...

Beth- as I read this tears were pouring down my face. We had a very similar incident with Elijah last year where he slipped and fell into the pool we were at and as you know was the single most terrifying moments of my life. All those emotions you spoke of came flooding back to me- blaming myself, feeling like a failure, etc. You are so right about little Emma- she was there for that reason on that day! Praise the Lord for giving her a tender heart to his words!

Christina Lang said...

your story sounds eerily close to mine. Isn't it the worst feeling in the world? I was also embarrassed to post my story, but it is SO important because it is a good reminder for all moms out there. Accidents happen to even the most well-intentioned parents. Thanking God that you had a good outcome to your story and we both still have our precious little boys to love on.

See Jamie blog said...

Yes, thank you for sharing this reminder. It's so easy for things like this to happen. We have two different friends who lost a child in a backyard pool, and they are both very responsible families who now live with a lifetime of regret. Again, thanks for sharing this reminder. SO glad he is okay!!!

Barb G said...

So grateful that Seth is fine! Praising a God Who was with Seth every moment. (((hug)))

Beth said...

thanks guys! I am very grateful too! It was a huge reminder that I am not in control! Jim and I sat at the dinner table that night and all i could think was "we could've been planning Seth's funeral right now!" Praise God!!!