Her aunt recently got a swimming pool built and with the gorgeous weather, everyone was outside. As the adults were eating and lounging, the kids were doing what kids do... running. No lie but I was stressed out, always keeping an eye out for the kids. They don't know how to swim yet and all it takes is for one to lose their balance and boom, trouble.
We had no intention of letting the kids swim since Lynn and I weren't going to swim but they had changed into their swimwear so they could stick their feet in and get wet, without actually going in. But one thing led to another and all the kids got on a ledge that ran along the side of pool, like a bench that you can sit on and relax. But the water was 5 feet deep and there was only one adult in the pool to watch ten kids. I told myself nothing is going to happen and besides, there's someone in the pool... but I still watched nervously.
Then some of the aunts and uncles started to pull out their cell phones and wanted to take pictures of the kids. They were all crammed together, jostling each other, trying to squeeze close together. I was still on the other side of the patio, lounging, taking no part in the picture taking. Next thing you know, Tyson loses his footing and he is faced down in the water, flailing his arms and legs. "TYSON!" That had to be the loudest I've ever yelled. Lynn was right there but her view was obscured by the pool fountain. Honestly, I don't recall how he was saved. I was blinded by pure rage.
That's probably not the emotion most people would exhibit but I can't help how I reacted. My body got a jolt of adrenaline. I was ready for fight or flight. I was revved up. But why was I so mad? There was no one to be mad at. It was an accident. There was no one to blame. I was mad that I wasn't there to save Tyson. I was mad for even letting him get in the pool without adequate supervision. I was mad at myself.
I never want to be a parent who hovers over their kids, being crazy overprotective, and I don't think I am. When the kids climb on the furniture and couch, I don't stop them but just ask that they be careful. When they ride their bikes at "dangerous" speeds, I just tell them the same thing. When they play wrestle, I let it be known that someone will end up getting hurt. That's the only way they will learn, by experiencing the pain. They will learn from their mistakes and know their limits.
Maybe it's only me but water scares the shit out of me. I'm not scared myself but for other people. Scared for my kids, my wife, my family, my friends, and anyone else who isn't a strong swimmer. So when it comes to my boys around water... I'll be that crazy overprotective parent.
Okay, I'm done ranting. If you read all of that, my apologies. But writing all of that was quite therapeutic. Here are pictures of a happier Easter Sunday.
|After morning mass.
|The boys during the Easter scavenger hunt.
|They found the prize.
|Godfather and godson in matching shirts.
|The kids and their loot.