With July 4th approaching, I couldn’t push down the nagging urge and inkling that pops up every year…telling me I need to share my story with you all. My horrifying, embarrassing, life-changing story of that time I almost let my child die because I was distracted on Instagram. As with every year there is an outpouring of grateful comments, thanking me for the reminder of how important it is to be present with our children. There are also comments from people thinking I’m using this as a ploy to get more page views. I assure you, this has nothing to do with page views. As I share this story I implore and beg you to share this with as many families as possible. Not because it helps my blog stats (trust me, that’s the last thing on my mind with this), but because even still, 3 years later, I get occasional anxiety when I see my son swimming under water. I still have dreams of pulling him out of the water, and still look at him with a pang in my heart, imagining what life would be like without him and thinking about how close we came to losing him. If my story can help even one parent avoid any of this, my job is done.
Enjoy your summer and holiday weekends. But please, leave your phone at home. Or on the boat. Or in your pool bag. Or, if you choose to take pictures (as we all do), save the IG posting and photo editing for when your kids are safely tucked into bed. Let us all remember to be present with our families this summer.
THE GIFT OF PRESENCE
(as originally posted HERE)
My son drown today.
Well, technically he nearly drown, but it doesn’t make much difference to me right now.
They are both horrifying.
Both happen in an instant.
Both are things you think would never happen to you.
Both make you stop and appreciate the blessings in your life.
The difference? (and a big difference at that…)
For whatever reason, my son was spared. He nearly drowned, rather than drown-drowned.
That has yet to be determined, and maybe I’ll never know (maybe so I could write this post?)…but it’s something I plan to not really question or take for granted.
I learned a valuable invaluable lesson today, about being PRESENT. It’s interesting because this subject has been on the minds of me and my husband for some time. What I mean by being present, is to be
To not just physically be there, but to really BE there. Soaking it all in. Participating. Adding to whatever it is. Enjoying. Not just being around, but being…present.
Today we went to the pool, like we do almost every single day. There is a nice, private pool in my new neighborhood that is 3 houses up from ours. I load my 11 month old girl and 2 year old son in the ol’ plastic Red Flyer wagon (the one with cup holders. we don’t mess around.), grab the Ikea bag filled with towels and snacks, pile the floaties on top of the kids, and head to the pool.