The Gift Of Presence

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 life-changing.
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.
Why?
Beats me.
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
involved
aware
in-tune
connected
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.

 

Today my goal was to stay as long as possible and really wear out the kids so they would take good afternoon naps. I have had company in town all week, and poor Hutch (my 2 year old) has been bored spitless. He’s been naughty and pushing my buttons, which tells me he’s bored, bored, bored.
We head to the pool.
I lather them with sunscreen (protect their baby-soft skin).
Fail to put any on me (I want a tan, and am too lazy).
Put Hutch’s floatie on him, make him wait until mommy is in the pool (that’s our main rule at the pool other than no splashing mommy and the baby…the water is freezing).
Blow up Priya’s baby ring frog floatie so it’s nice and full.
Get in the water with Priya and tell Hutch he can get in.
We spend the next hour swimming to our heart’s content. Hutch is a maniac in the pool, a complete fish. He jumps in, swims all over the pool, floats on his back, dives under water (as much as he can with massive floaties on), and swims like a polar bear. I was a nervous wreck the first day at the pool, but as the summer progressed I got more and more trusting. His floatie is AMAZING. He couldn’t drown in that thing if he tried!
It’s the kind that has two “water wing” type floaties that go around his biceps and are connected by a chest bar in the middle, and the entire contraption snaps in the back. It slips down his arms from time to time but he always pulls it back up so he can get back to belly flopping like a mad-man.
Our neighborhood is a decent size, but for whatever reason there is usually NO ONE at the pool when we go. Maybe a few teenagers sunbathing, but literally, we are more often than not the only people in the pool when we go on any given day.
Today was exciting because the pool was bustling. There were lots of kids, lots of playing, more moms than usual (4 or so), and Hutch was loving it because his 3 year old buddy showed up and they were having a blast.
As it always happens, after about an hour or so they both get tired, fussy, cold, and hungry. I get them out of the pool, strip them down butt-naked, wrap them in towels, strap Priya in the wagon so she won’t tumble head-first off the lounge chair that Hutch and I are sitting on, and eat our snacks that I pack. Usually we only last this way for about 10 minutes or so before heading home. But today it was extra warm outside and there was lots of action in the pool for the kids to admire, so we hung out for awhile.
The kids were getting a lot of sun so I put their SPF suits back on them. Hutch decided that since his suit was on, he wanted to swim again. Priya had zero interest in anything other than her string cheese, so I broke my rule and let him get in the pool without mommy. I put his floatie back on and I actually remember cinching it extra tight in the back, just to be safe.
He got in the pool with his little friend, and they had a blast. He loved jumping in the water right by the stairs, swimming back to the stairs, climing out, and doing it over again.
I finally had some free hands…so what do I do? Grab my phone of course.
I snap a few pics of Hutch jumping in the pool.
I am careful to angle the pictures just right so the pictures look awesome and impressive, show off my amazing neighborhood, the size of the pool, and make me look like a super awesome mom. I even think about the caption I’m going to put on the pictures in Instagram and Facebook.
I decide that I want to make a photo collage and post it to Instagram, so I can squeeze in as many “having fun with mommy” pictures as possible, to make the day all the more impressive, of course.
I put some shades on Priya and she’s hamming it up for the camera. I’m loving it. I am engrossed in my collage-making, trying to capture the perfect shot.
I finish the collage after way too much time deciding which pictures to use. I’m about to post it onto Instagram.
For whatever reason, I look at the pool.
To exactly where Hutch was.
In the water. By himself. Floatie-free.
Bobbing just under the surface of the water.
I still don’t know how he had the strength, but he was able to get his face just enough above water for me to see clearly that he was in distress. I could see his blue lips all the way from my pool chair.
He was drowning.
Not too far from the edge of the pool…the edge of the pool where his floaties were lying…without him.
He was gently clawing, trying to “swim” as best as he knows how.
No knowledge of what to do.
Desperate to get his face back to the surface of the water.
Exhausted.
Struggling with everything he has in his tiny body that has only been on this earth for two short years.
He is so scared.
He is helpless and trying so desperately to get one tiny gasp of air.
His feet are down toward the pool, his arms out to his sides, trying to tread water, his neck bent and arched, trying with all he has in him to get his tiny little nose or mouth above water. He comes to the surface for a brief moment, then drops below the water, then almost to the top, then down below again – but never enough to get above the water to take that beloved breath. It’s hard for me to breathe even thinking about it.Then I really noticed his face.
Ash white skin, lips blue. So blue.
The rest is a blur.
But I believe my absolute first thought before thinking anything else was,
drowning doesn’t look like drowning.
  There was an article a friend of mine posted on facebook weeks ago that I never took the time to read, but thought “wow, I bet that is really helpful to know. I hope people with pools read that.”
Drowning doesn’t look like drowning.
I don’t say a word. I jump into the pool, the water only hitting me waist-high.
I remember being shocked at how blue his lips where.
So blue. Scary blue. “That would never happen to my child” blue.
I grab his tiny little body.
So light. So helpless.
I think to myself, “breathe baby, take one breath and it will all be better. Just breathe baby.”
I lift his body out of the water.
He went completely limp.
It’s a sickening feeling, the feeling of lifelessness on your arm.
To feel the little body that you created from your own, only minutes earlier so full of life…
still. Lifeless.
More split-second thoughts.
how can that be? He was just flailing…why is he limp now?
this can’t be good.
his lips are so blue.
how long has he been in here?
how did this happen?
breathe baby, breathe.
 
The few movements it took to get him up from under the water to out of the pool felt like an eternity.
At this very moment of writing this post all I have to do is picture is horrifyingly-blue lips and I burst into uncontrollable sobs.
So unnatural.
So ugly.
So scary.
I remember his limp body, and I remember his teeth grinding.
Hard.
A lot.
are those his teeth?
oh my gosh, this can’t be good.
 
I scoop him up out of the water and lay him on his back on the hot, hard pool deck concrete, my body still in the pool.
It was a natural reaction, natural position.
It’s what they do on TV.
It’s how you give CPR.
That’s what you’re supposed to do…right?
His belly seems big; bloated. It must be full of water.
Breathe baby, breathe.
His lips are so blue.
Oh my gosh his face has no color.
This can’t be good.
At this point, not a soul is aware of what is going on.
The kids in the pool are still splashing and playing, just inches from where he was struggling for his life, the moms are still chatting.
One of the moms sees me jump into the pool and grab Hutch. I will never forget what she said…
“Oh! goodness. You’d think that with so many of us someone would’ve noticed him.”
Casual.
Matter of fact.
So. Sadly. Wrong.
I don’t think they realize how serious this is.
Did they see his lips?
How long has he been like this?
I can’t believe I was on my cell phone.
Then he cries.
Weak.
Helpless.
Pitiful.
So weak.
No gurgling,
no barfing,
no coughing up water.
I jump out of the pool.
I grab him and lift him upright.
I set him on my knee, slightly bent forward.
It was a natural reaction, natural position.
Let the water drain down.
Throw it all up.
Keep breathing, baby.
 
The color slowly started coming back into his lips and his teeth stopped grinding.
I sit with him in the same position on a pool lounger.
All of this happens in a matter of seconds. So quickly, no one – including the kids swimming right next to Hutch in the pool – knew that anything had happened.
Questions start piquing from the moms.
“Did he fall in?”
“He looked like he was trying to float on his back, that’s pretty good!”
“Did he hit his head or something?”
“What happened?”
I lift Hutch up and hold him facing me, his head resting on my shoulder – his favorite “I need my mommy” position.
I stroke his back and realize that my heart isn’t even pounding.
It all happened so fast, my body – quite literally – didn’t have time to catch up to what was going on.
After I made sure he was ok, breathing, and would respond when I talked to him, we walk around the pool deck, making casual chit-chat with the moms.
They still don’t quite understand what happened, but one thing is clear…
Not a soul noticed him.
No one.
We were all talking. Chatting. Taking pictures.
Playing with cell phones.
Busy.
Around, but not present.
I’m still feeling surprisingly calm, and even crack a few jokes with the moms.
“Well, Hutch, have we learned our lesson buddy?” ha ha ha.
Ha.
I start asking him questions to see how well he would respond.
“Buddy, did you take your floaties off?”
Yes.
“Baby, you can’t get in without mommy. That’s a no no, that’s a big no no.”
I talked to him a little more as I rocked back and forth with his head still on my shoulder, holding him tight and rubbing his back. His key word in our conversation being…
“scawee”
Scary? No kidding, bud. I hope that scared the pants off of you so you never take your floaties off again.
One mom in particular, a friend of mine, was concerned when she realized what happened, and came over to check him out pretty soon after I got him out of the pool. She said, “it sounds like he might have water in his lungs.” I knew her sister is a nurse so I asked her to call her sister to see if there is anything I should do.
“He’s exhausted, I was heading home to put him down for a nap, should I not let him sleep for any reason?”
He’s responding,
His lips are pink again,
That silly little kid.
Ok, time for naps.
I hold and rock him for a while to calm him down, then load him in the wagon with Priya.
He’s so exhausted.
I start loading my things and saying goodbye to the moms, when I notice his face.
Specifically, his eyes.
They were distant.
Dazing.
Hazy, even.
He was looking at Priya, but not really looking at Priya.
Looking past her; through her.
I call to him, he looks at me and answers, just like normal.
Hmmm…that’s weird.
I bend down and scrutinize him more.
My friend notices and comes over.
“How’s he doing? Is he ok?”
I mention that he looks a little out of it.
She says, “If all else fails, you might want to take him in, just to be safe.”
Nah, thanks but no thanks, the last thing I need is another medical bill. He’s fine, just tired I’m sure.
 
We start walking home and I decide to call his doc, just to make sure it’s ok that I put him down for a nap.
Does he need to be upright?
Can I give him something to drink?
Is he going to barf? I really don’t want him to barf in his bed.
 
While the phone is ringing, I’m suppressing the urge to post about my experience on Facebook.
Your hands are full, just do it a little later.
 
I call the doc and ask for the nurse. She’s busy. I tell them my brief story.
Hold please.
“Hello this is nurse so-and-so”. Tell her my story.
Hold please.
She tells me I should take him to the ER.
My heart sinks slightly that she’s not giving me any useful advice.
Um, no. Thanks, but no thanks. 
Cha-ching, cha-ching! No thanks, not another ER bill, that’s REALLY the last thing I need.
He’s totally fine, just super tired is all.
 
I start to ask vague questions to get her off the phone, but lead her to believe that I’m actually considering taking him to the ER. Then she says the words that make my blood run cold.
“You need to take him to the ER. Right now. As fast as you can get there.”
The flood gates finally opened.
My heart finally starts pounding.
My stomach feels sick.
It hits me for real this time…
this can’t be good.
I get off the phone and move into hyper speed.
Diapers on the kids. Bottle for Priya. Put her to bed as soon as possible. Keep Hutch upright. Hutch? Hutch? Hey buddy, look at mommy, how are you? Keep him responsive. Keep an eye on him. Please sleep Priya, please sleep right away so I don’t have to worry about you too. Call my husband, Bubba. No answer. Call again. No answer. Call again. No answer. Throw some clothes on. Grab my diaper bag. Ipad, need the ipad – could be a long day, Hutch will need Toy Story 3. Call the sitter. No answer. Call the neighbor, ask her to leave the monitor at her house until I figure out plan B. Text Bubba, “Hutch needs to go to the ER call me asap.” Called him again, no answer. Please sleep, Priya, that will make this much easier on mommy. Hutch, how are you buddy? You ok? Want to watch TV? Keep him alert. Set him on the couch. Remote. Where’s the dang remote? Shoes for Hutch. Shoes for me. Milk for Hutch? No milk, no time, don’t know if he should drink anything. Priya’s quiet, good girl Priya. Hutch, how are you doing mister? You excited to watch TV? Oh crap, he’s totally dazing into space. He’s totally out of it. Keys. Phone. Where’s the darn remote? Grab Hutch, tell him he can watch TV in the car. The babysitter will just have to sit in silence I guess, can’t find the remote. Load Hutch in the car, turn on the Ipad for him. Toss the monitor to the neighbor in the driveway with little to no explanation. Call Bubba, no answer. Bubba finally calls me back.
“Jordy, what’s going on?”
How do I say this?
Well, honey, I was on my phone, completely neglecting our two-year old who can’t swim (whom I let in the pool by himself, by the way) and he almost drown. Oh but don’t worry, I caught him just before he slipped to the bottom of the pool and he’s totally breathing again. No biggie. But he’s acting weird and the doc is freaked so we’re going to the ER. But really, I’m sure it’s fine. At least I got some good pics of the kids before we lost one of them.
He drops everything and drives up from a work event in Provo, 30+ minutes away. I finally get ahold of the sitter.
How do I say this?
Hey, you’re not busy are you? I wasn’t paying attention to my son and he almost drowned. He’s breathing now but I still have to take him to the ER because he might be having some major problems due to my lack of interest in what he was doing. Will you come watch Priya? Oh yeah, and I can’t find the remote.
I keep checking on Hutch through the rearview mirror. I notice three things.
1) He looks like he’s in la-la land. Pale face, zombie eyes, bobbing neck. Great.
2) I forgot shoes for him.
3) His car-seat straps are totally sliding down his arms because it’s his spare seat that I have in my car today randomly and we’ve never taken the time to adjust them to fit his body properly.
Mom of the year.
I get to the hospital, head in the ER, and check in. Hutch wants down so he can see the fish tank. He’s talking to the fish, kissing the tank, and acting like he didn’t just almost meet his maker 30 minutes earlier. I ring the triage bell. She’s in the back of the room talking, motions that she’ll be there soon, and continues talking.
Lady, could you hurry up please? My son could be like, dying over here or something.
How can I help you? What are you in for today?
How do I say this?
I was being an awesome mom and took my kids swimming. But then I was so busy posting about it and flaunting my awesomeness to the world that my son just about drown and now is about to endure hours of misery because of my actions. Oh yeah, and I almost didn’t take him here because you guys are really expensive and the last thing I need is another medical bill to worry about. Hmm…I think that covers it.
 
They take us back right away.
They have me sit on the bed with Hutch on my lap, and the bustling begins.
Once the words “near drowning” buzzed around the ER, everyone sprang into action. We became the most popular people in the place. Five people immediately burst into the room. Blood pressure checks. Listening to lungs. Listening again. Heart. Ears. Eyes. Question after question. Orange stuffed animal for you. Do you like to color? Here are some crayons. Blood pressure cuff. Finger light thingie that looks like ET’s finger.

Hustle, bustle, lots of concerns, lots of questions…all directed at me.
“How did this happen?”
“What happened?”
“Where were you?”
“How did this happen?”
“What happened?”
The same questions over and over, all with the same answer.
I wasn’t paying attention and he jumped into the pool without his floaties on and almost drown.
Naturally, I left out the “I wasn’t paying attention because I was on my phone” part.

Hutch is an absolute angel. He sits so still, doesn’t make a peep, silently looking around letting people poke and prod him. He’s still in a daze, but responds when I talk to him.
Throughout the day there were at least a 1/2 dozen or more people checking on him. Each time I had to explain what happened. Each time they had a look on their face like, “Oh darn…so you’re one of THOSE parents?”
They never said anything of the sort, but they always, without fail, had a look on their face like “ooooh….THAT explains it.”
So many people came in during the day, and so many people seemed deeply concerned about HOW it happened, I kept thinking they were from Family Services coming to investigate me as a neglectful parent. I’m not trying to be humorous, those were actual thoughts.
The hustle and bustle died down. They said his vitals looked good, but his temperament concerned them and they ordered a chest xray; told us to hang tight until they were ready for us.
Everyone left and I still had Hutch sitting in between my legs on the bed, his back against my chest. He rested his head against my chest and immediately fell asleep.
That mini rest of his was God’s gift to me. Hutch NEVER falls asleep on me, no matter what. But that moment was a gift.
I was fully, irrevocably
 PRESENT.
I smelled his hair.
I stroked his soft face.
I listened to him breathe.
It sounded so good.
And I cried.
I cried, and cried, and cried.
My tears ran down his soft blonde hair and onto his tiny blue shirt.
So many thoughts.
Thank you, God for sparing my son.
Please let him be ok.
How could I have been so stupid?
We got so lucky.
How long was he struggling?
Did he jump in?
What possessed him to take off his floaties?
Thank you, God.
And without fail, every time I closed my eyes I saw his tiny little body struggling with all the willpower one can possess to make it to the surface of the water…
and those lips. So blue.
Then the tears would pour.
They drew his blood, waking him up. It hurt him so badly, and it hurt me to have to pin him down so tightly.
I’m sorry buddy, I’m so sorry.


Hutch settled down, the nurses left, I cried. Bubba arrived. I couldn’t even speak to him, I just silently cried as he kissed Hutch, held his little hand, asked him questions, kissed his tiny hands, and was present with him.
I almost took this little boy away from his daddy.
Because of my actions I almost made it so that this man’s last moment with his son would’ve been the hurried kiss out the door on the way to work.
All because of a cell phone.
 
Bubba gently carried him tenderly to the Xray room.
The xray was horrific.
It took 4 of us to force him into this tiny machine that I can’t even explain, with a huge plastic cuff that goes all the way around his tiny body and squeezes him so tightly that his arms are pinned above his head and he can’t move, so they can xray his chest. He screamed with every fiber in his soul. They made us leave the room and stand in the hall, his screams and cries echoing off the stark walls. I was sobbing and couldn’t talk.
“Talk to him through the door.” I choked out to Bubba between sobs.
Bubba’s voice cracked and caught in his throat; trying to be strong for his baby boy.
“Hutch? Buddy? Daddy’s here, it’s ok. You’re almost done buddy, it’s ok. Hey, Hutch? Can you hear me? Daddy’s here.”
It made a noticeable difference. The screaming was toned down, but Hutch’s sobs and cries came on harder than ever. As soon as we heard “ok we’re done” we bolted through the door and couldn’t snatch him up fast enough.
Our tiny boy.
They kept us the rest of the day to run tests, watch his vitals, observe his behavior, and track the test and xray results. Bubba left to relieve the sitter and watch Priya. Hours passed.
I laid on the bed with Hutch and tried to get him to sleep. He was too wired. Back to his old self. Silly, talking, asking for fruit snacks and milk, happy. The color was back in his face. I turned off the ipad, turned out the lights and told him it was time for a nap.
He said he wanted to say a prayer.
We prayed to our Heavenly Father and thanked him.
It was simple, sweet, and inspired by a 2 year old.
It was perfect.
It took me an hour to get him to sleep, but as he slept I laid in bed and made a decision.
I will, from this day forward, do everything in my power to be PRESENT.
With my kids.
With my husband.
On a walk.
In church.
In the car.
With friends and family.
That whatever I’m doing, I do IT and nothing else. I focus on THAT moment, at THAT moment. No more checking my phone while sitting in the play room with the kids and calling it playing with them. No more having Hutch jump on my bed by himself so I can get things done in my room. No more sitting next to my husband and working on my computer while he works on his.
Sure, those things will need to happen once in a while in order to get life done.
But my decision is to be PRESENT in my life at all times and stop letting it pass me by.
My experience today was God’s gift to me; a gentle but firm warning. Many people don’t get a second chance like I did today. I sure as heck don’t plan to take it for granted.
It’s going to be hard. Heck, on the drive home from the hospital I was texting and driving to all my family and friends that Hutch was ok, trying to keep my frantic parents from impulsively flying here  from Oregon.
I posted my story on Facebook first thing when I got home and keep having to stop myself from checking my phone to see who all has commented on it.
Baby steps.
BUT…I’m not going to let my phone rule my life any more.
 I’m going to rule my own life, and own every moment of it.
I couldn’t sleep tonight until I wrote this post. I can’t deny the feeling that this experience did not happen on accident. I sobbed the entire way through writing this. It physically hurts to write down the details, and to admit that I was wrong and caused fear and harm into my little angel. Seeing it in a cold, hard font makes it real. No sugar-coating, no dancing around details, it is what it is.

I dread going to sleep tonight. Closing my eyes is the hardest thing, because behind my eyelids I get an instant flash of his body in the pool, his lips blue. So blue.
But writing helps. I’m facing the reality of the day, and – hopefully – doing some good in the meantime.

I hope that anyone reading this can take this into their own lives. I hope that you set aside the blog readers. The smart phones. The tags. The hashtags. The comments. The pinning. The whatever it is that is not allowing you to be fully present in your own life, and get back to the way things should be.
By all means, read blogs. In fact, keep reading this one! Write a blog. Check your emails. Take photos and post them – I love seeing them. Text. A lot.
BUT…
do we really need to take our phones to the bathroom with us? Check it first thing in the morning? The last thing at night? Have it with us while we’re outside playing with our kids? In church? At dinner? On a date?

I’m setting a goal to only check my social media only 2x per day, and the rest of the time it can wait.

Presence is a gift. I plan to give mine to others, and to enjoy every moment of my children’s gift to me.

If people are left hanging?
That’s ok, they will survive.
And guess what?
So will my son.

Comments

  1. Jennifer Ogle says

    Jordan,
    I am so sorry that you had to go through this experience today. You are so very right on being "present" more. Your story is scary but also inspiring. I am glad to hear that little Hutch is okay and on the mend. It just reminds us that things can happen in an instant and to take nothing for granted. You hang in there. My thoughts are with you and your beautiful family. Take care.

  2. Ashley says

    I froze when I read the first line, I'm so happy to hear that your little guy is okay. Thank you so much for sharing, I think this is something we could all do a little bit better with.

  3. Tamie Springston says

    You had quite a day honey and I am praying for you and your beautiful family. Please please do not be so hard on yourself, you are a great mom, and this babies do not come with instructions. If you only knew how many times michael injured his self I'd be in a nut house. Your accident was a life changing experience, and you will learn from it and move foreword.your one question is why Hucth took is floaters off? I ask u did the other kids have them on? If not he just wanted to be like them I'm sure . Thinking hey wait a minute I can't swim! I M so glad that he is ok and your story will make me think when I am in charge of my future grand babies I to will be present. Love you girl, tamie

  4. Jan says

    Wow! First of all…I don't know you, I only read your post because a friend of mine shared it on facebook. What an eye opening post! My heart goes out to you….chances are Hutch won't remember much of this, but you are likely never to forget. It's so hard to be ever present, and it's so amazing how quickly things can go wrong. You did everything right that you could. And sharing your story I hope helps open more peoples eyes. I haven't had a phone since my girls were born (7 years now) until this past week….and I have to say I can see why people are obsessed. They are so fun and amazing that it makes them hard to put down! Thank you for the reminder that those things can wait. I'm so glad that Hutch is okay. I wish I could somehow make you feel okay and make sure you know that you must be an amazing mom…even with the things that go wrong, you love them. You would do anything for them. I'm looking forward to future posts…..but I'm going to turn off the computer now and work on my priorities.

  5. Teresa in Music City says

    Words fail me…. praise God for giving you that instinct to glance Hutch's way! I feel the horror of what you went through – I have grandchildren those ages who go to pools and play every day and I pray always for their safety. Their parents chide me for being such a "worry-wort" when I warn them of potential dangers, but I know they don't realize just how quickly their world could change. It's so scary! But we cannot live in fear, and God has proven time and again that if we will listen to Him He will keep us in His arms. I am so glad your story ended well. And may I say thank you for your honesty in the telling of it? Good people make mistakes – critical mistakes – all the time. But so often we feel like we are the only ones. It is only when we share the events of our lives in real honesty that we can be a blessing to others who have walked the same path and may be hurting.

  6. Pam Bennett says

    Dear Jordan, I am so glad that Hutch is okay!!!! I love you. Thank you for sharing your experience. May I use parts of this experience in a church lesson. I can change the names to protect you all. I really feel this is a invaluable spiritual lesson. If you don't want me to share, I won't. You are an awesome Mom!!!! Love, Pam Bennett

  7. Bethany Crawford says

    I just finished reading "The Power of Now." It's exactly what you're talking about with being "present." It's been on my mind a lot too. Thanks for sharing your story even though it's hard. We all benefit from it. You are a wonderful mom; we all need reminders sometimes. I'm glad you're all ok :)

  8. funcheaporfree says

    Thank you all for your love, comments, concern, and encouragement. I feel like a whole new person today, Hutch is better than ever, and I am looking forward to my renewed desire to be present in my own life. I love you all!

  9. funcheaporfree says

    YES! Of course, use my story in your lesson! Please! Feel free to use our names, I don't mind at all. If there is any way I can inspire others and prevent what happened to me from happening to anyone else, I'm a happy woman. Thanks for your love and support! PS…the blanket you crocheted Hutch is STILL his favorite, his only "soothie", and he can't sleep without it. Makes me think of you all the time :)

  10. Sarah says

    Oh my gosh Jordan! That sounds like the most terrifying thing a parent can go through. I had tears in my eyes reading about what happened at the pool. So glad to hear that your sweet little boy is going to be OK. Thank you for sharing your story, as scary as it was, to remind others the importance of being present…especially with our little ones. I'll hug my daughter a little tighter tonight…

  11. Elizabeth says

    I just wanted to say thank you for having the courage to write this post. Not many moms would be brave enough to share what happened and admit their lack of "presence" like you did. I for one am thankful for your courage in sharing it and for being real.
    I am also guilty of not being present with my daughter the way I know I should and I think many other moms would say the same But, I am encouraged by your story that we can choose to make our family our priority and let the rest of the world take a number.

    So glad your little boy is safe and ok. :)

  12. Julie W says

    Oh Dear! I started reading this post this morning, then set my phone down to finish it during nap time. Tears are streaming down my face-I want to go wake my kids up from their nap and hug them!! (but I will refrain-it is a long afternoon if not). I am praying for you, for all of us (ME included) to be present. Such great words!!! Praising the Lord that Hutch is okay. I have been so fearful this summer to be at the pool (without my husband's help) to be with our 3.5 year old and 16 month old. After reading your post-I am not sure I can do this alone. Thanks for this incredibly tough post-such great reminders! Praying for you too!

  13. Starla says

    I've been following your blog for awhile. First off, I'm so happy your little guy is ok. I cried throughout this entire post. Because I see myself doing these same things. I have 2 year old twins and as we speak they are sitting next to me, ipads in their laps, me on my laptop. So much focus on technology and emails and facebook. You're so right. Not being present. With baby #3 on the way….something has to change. So thank you for posting this. It's an eye opener for sure.

  14. Tara Demars says

    Jordan, thank you so much for sharing this. This same thing happened to me when I was babysitting about 7 years ago. I'd taken a handful of kids to the pool and the older ones were fine on their own, the 3 year old was walking back and forth on the stairs, and i had gotten the baby out of the pool to start drying off. Well I opened up my phone… and moments later heard a whistle. I look up and scan the crowded pool right to the stairs where the 3 year old had walked right off the edge and was bobbing inches under the water. I was horrified, humiliated, humbled. It was the worst experience of my life. Now as a mom I am terrified of letting my toddler out of reach at the pool, but I am always on my phone otherwise. It's a horrible habbit that I hate having. My phone lulls me to sleep, is the first thing I do in the morning, and is at my side all day as my 1 year old plays and we go on outings. In fact, my phone is usually dead by 5 or so each day. I know it has to stop, and this is the inspiration I needed. I am grateful that your boy was in Heavenly Father's hands today, saved, and that so much good is going to come of this story. Thank you again. -Tara

  15. katherine says

    Thank you so much for sharing your story! When my 16 year old was 2 she put a water bottle cap in her mouth and choked on it…the few seconds that followed, I will never forget. Sharing your story hopefully opens some parents eyes.

  16. Susan says

    Ohh, I'm glad he is okay. You are right….we all are guilty of not being present all the time. Thank you so much for posting this. Passing it on.

  17. Tonzi says

    Thanks for sharing your story. Such a scary moment for you, I am so glad it turned out ok. I also need to be more present when watching my daughter. I have been considering infant survival swim lessons, but it is a HUGE expense. I think I may do it after reading this story. There are some instructors in Utah if you are interested. http://www.infantaquatics.com/

  18. lisa potter says

    Thank you so much for sharing! I am a Respiratory Therapist. You are very blessed. We all make mistakes as parents and thankfully we have a loving Heavenly Father who is always watching, ever present. Don't beat yourself up, we are only human! At least you had a "God Moment", where you were able to realize what is truly important. Life is a great teacher and as long as we learn something it wasn't for nothing. We can teach others and enjoy life with renewed vigor and happiness knowing what is truly eternal, our families. I will say a thankful prayer tonight for you and your family, for you to be able to let go of this. It is but a small moment we are present HERE on Earth. Men are that they MIGHT have joy

  19. Anne Gerwig says

    I cried when I read your story. So close to mine, about 19 years ago. If I hadn't heard the splash when my daughter fell in the pool, I would never have realized that she did. There is no noise, like on tv with all the splashing and screaming. They cannot get their mouths out of the water to scream! I remember Jesi with only her terrified eyes above the water. After that experience, I booked survival swim lessons and never judged a mom again. After she could swim fully clothed in only 4 weeks, I relaxed but not much. She and I used the same methods and taught her brothers to swim after they were two.

  20. Paula says

    Thank you for being so brave to share your story. Up until your little one jumped in, many of us could have rewritten that same story. Just today, I did that SAME thing – except my youngest was at daycare and I have found myself getting more relaxed with my son (who is almost 6) b/c he is taking swimming lessons. What a wake up call to each of us. I also appreciated your description of what you saw. I never would have pictured it to be like that, either. I hope your post gets around – I've reposted on my facebook. I'm so thankful that you had a happy ending to your story.

  21. Phyllis says

    God is good! You have come through an experience that you will never forget and by posting this you have reminded us that yes, we must be present. You are so brave to write this. It only proves that you are a good mom and will live a better life because of what you have gone through.

  22. Mary Byrd says

    I am one of your silent readers I don't think I've commented before but I faithfully read your post. I am drying my tears as I write this. I don't know how you must feel but I do know that God spared your son for good reasons. God is amazing in that way. I read your story tonight and I felt frightened, sorrowful, relieved and thankful for you and your son "Hutch". Our Children are Gods most precious gifts that he gives to us and I am glad that he spared your son. By sharing your story with everyone you are sharing what God is capable of doing. And a life lesson for you and your family as well as others, including mine. I have a 19 month old and a 5 year old and I Thank God everyday for protecting them and keeping them safe. My heart goes out to you for what you experienced today, I do not want to imagine what you must be dealing with right now but know this, "that God is with you and everything has a reason." Your experience might be a warning for another mother and her child. And I commend you for sharing your story today. Being a Mother has daily lessons some big and some small. I learn everyday and I try to do the best I can and that is all you can do, so take the lesson you had today and build on it. I know that by reading your story I will. You have touch my life and many others and that is a beautiful thing for you to do. Time heals most wounds just don't be too hard on yourself in the mean time. I can relate to your lifestyle. I am a WHAM, I operate two business from home and maintain being a homemaker. Don't know exactly how i do it but I give it my best. I use technology too much and I find limiting use of them when I'm out playing with my family is a must. Thanks for reminding me about this. You did good today by reacting when you did. Hutch, you and your family are very blessed. I'm going to say a prayer for you and your family tonight. Hugs!!! Truly Sincere, Mary Byrd

  23. Ashley says

    I cannot put into words how much your story has touched my heart. Thank you for sharing and for reminding me how precious my children are.

  24. Catherine says

    I had a similar incident with my daughter recently. It is the worst parent moment I have ever had; especially when you have doctors and nurses keep asking you to retell what happened, it feels worse with each retelling. I empathize and praise the Lord that your son is doing well. Thank you for putting into words all the emotions I felt, but could not explain to anyone. Peace of the Lord.

  25. Kim says

    Thank you for being so real and honest in telling your story.
    This was hard for me to read because we recently went to the ER after my 8 month old fell the whole way down the basement steps. I was on the computer and saw him crawl after the cat in the direction of the steps, but I didn't go after him right away because I assumed the door was closed. I too felt like the worst Mommy in the world, but my baby is ok and I will always be vigilant about checking the door from now on. There are so many scary things that can happen to our children – being a parent can be so humbling and scary. This is just another reminder of what a huge responsibility we have as parents.
    Thank you again for writing this post. I know how hard it must have been to write it. I also shared this on Facebook, because I think this story could save a life.

  26. mrs says

    Thanks for sharing your story. It is a good reminder to always be present and focus on one thing at a time. It is also important not to text while driving.

  27. funcheaporfree says

    Wow, thanks everyone! I am so humbled and enlightened by all your comments. i feel the love and am truly touched. I love you all! By the way… Hutch asked to go swimming the very next day and we've been swimming almost every day since. Go figure :)

  28. says

    Thank you for sharing your story and being so honest about it! I know it wasn't easy to put it in writing. I bawled reading it! I have a son that's 2 and having that happen would be my worst nightmare! (any mom's I'm sure) I'm so glad your son's okay. I've actually been thinking a lot about being present lately (and my lack of it) so thank you! I NEEDED to hear this. It was perfect timing. It is hard to not multitask. We're so use to doing so many things at once and not soaking in the moments and participating fully. I'm resolving, with you, to be present. Especially around my family.

  29. Meg says

    Jordan, I'm so glad your little Hutch is alright! What a blessing, and such an important reminder to me and everyone to put down our distractions and BE with our kids!! Thanks for sharing this

  30. Jessica says

    This really hit close to home. My son is 2 and is a little fish too. I am the same way with my phone. I am going to try and do what you are doing too. There is way too much that we miss out on because of it and you never know when that moment will be life threatening. Thank you for sharing.

  31. Ashton says

    It took incredible strength for you to post this. I was sobbing as I was reading this, thinking of my 2 yr old. Thank you for writing this post, I know I needed this message.

  32. Amanda says

    Thank you for sharing this terrifying and heart-wrenching experience in such detail. You didn't have to, but I can't tell you how much I appreciate that you did. I cried almost as if it were my child floating in that pool. Thank you for allowing me to learn from your experience and pulling me back to my priorities. May God continue to bless you and your family.

  33. patricia says

    Wow…that has to be the worst feeling ever. When my oldest was 3, he was in the car with my mom and they came to visit me at work. Mom told him to stay in his car seat and she would come around to get him. She had just gotten a hot tea…Jarod decided to get out and go over to nanny's seat…thinking it was funny. He ended up kicking the hot tea over his butt and legs…basically melting the skin off instantly. He was laid up for weeks with bandages covering him. My mom felt HORRIBLE. But, you know what? You cannot beat yourself up over it. These things happen…and you learned a valuable lesson…one that, thankfully, had a happy ending. Sometimes things happen just for those reasons…to open your eyes and to educate others. Thank you for posting this and opening my eyes. I will try hard to be more present in my life from now on.

  34. Jenny says

    I just found your blog tonight through pinterest. This was so powerful. I'm the mom of a 4 year old and a 2 year old and this is something I've been thinking about a lot lately. Thank you for sharing your experience. It really touched me and will motivate me to be more present with my kids.

  35. says

    Oh, Jordan, I'm so sorry this happened! I've had a couple of similar experiences, nothing nearly as horrifying, that made me feel the same way. I'm still working on it one step at a time too. It's amazing how caught up we get in social media. Thank you for sharing and for the reminder. I'm so glad that he's okay and try not to beat yourself up to much. I can't tell you how many times things have happened that I blamed myself for and thought how close my kids came to being more hurt than they were. We're not perfect and I really do believe that there are angels watching over our kids and helping us as parents too. I'm going to step up my goal too to be more present as well! (By the way, this is Jen Day, I met you at Jake and Ann's party a couple of weeks ago.)
    My recent post First ER Trip

  36. says

    What a powerful experience, and post. I can't thank you enough for your honesty, and for sharing this incredibly important point. Our company, Travel-Tot, wrote an article this week referencing your post, and the importance of being present with your children at all times, and especially around water. http://travel-tot.blogspot.com/2012/07/water-safe…. Thank you again, your honesty is incredibly moving. Your family is lucky to have you!
    My recent post Water Safety and The Gift of Parental Presence

  37. Marlene says

    Thank you for sharing your story. Last year my 4 month old lost oxygen just long enough for half his face to turn blue. He had scooted himself into the corner of the co-sleeper while napping. I was downstairs doing dishes. After 20 minutes I went to check on him and found him struggling. It is a horrible thing to wonder if your child id going to live. Like Hutch, he was limp at first, then breathing shallowly, then seemed dazed for about a half an hour. By the time we got to the ER he was back to his normal self. They kept us for hours. I, too felt they were observing me just as much as him and worried about their opinion of my mothering. I also could not stop blaming myself. I put him in the co-sleeper. I left him there. It was MY fault. When we got home I searched the Internet for answers. Why did he seem so out of it for so long and then suddenly he was okay? I finally got my answer from a site about drowning. If you catch them in time they will be dazed for a while, but okay later. Your story has reminded me to be more vigilant…again. So glad Hutch is okay. God bless you.

  38. twk says

    You blame your phone for your lack of being present, but, as a former lifeguard and swim instructor and a current parent of a 3 year old who LOVES to swim any chance he gets, I would like to suggest that you consider the possibility that the floaties are as much to blame, if not more so than your phone. Had your son not worn them, would you ever even considered glancing at your phone? Parents are often lulled into a false sense of safety because of the floaties… the bigger and better the floaties, the better parents they believe they are being, and the more likely they are to look away. If you are truly going to be excruciatingly present with your children, I would urge you to ditch the floaties. If you are right there with them, then your children should not need them. Your children should never be out of your reach in the water until they can swim independently and proficiently. My son has never worn a floatie in his life (he does,obviously, wear life-preservers in boating environments etc) and we know that we don't have the freedom or the luxury to look away, not even for a second. I am glad that your son is ok and, as parents, we all do this in one way or another… we look away at the wrong time or we make a choice that could end up in disaster. None of us are immune so we just have to find ways to help each other. Good luck with your new resolve.

  39. Guest says

    I found this pin on Pinterest and was touched by your blog post. I'm not a parent yet, but I was struck by your guilt and pangs for what your son must have been feeling. Something compelled me to let you know that the looks people gave you in the ER are irrelevant– they don't know anything about you except for a snapshot moment (and really, one of "those" parents wouldn't be admitting they'd looked away; one of "those" parents would insist they hadn't made a single mistake). I hope by now you've overcome that feeling, but in case you haven't you should remember that it doesn't take a perfect person to make a fantastic parent (which is a good thing, since I haven't yet met a perfect person!).

    When I was about Hutch's age (long before cell phones), I fell into the pool at a crowded family bbq when my mom happened to have stepped inside the house. Even though so many adults were outside, no one noticed except for my cousin who was only a few years older than me. He reached out for my hands and held them so my head was out of the water while he called his mom for help. I don't remember whether she freaked out or not, and I don't remember being scared. What I do remember is looking up at my cousin, then my aunt holding me tight, then her handing me to my mom (whose first indication that something was wrong was when her older sister walked through the door carrying her soaked and slightly bewildered two-year-old into a room full of family). I remember my mom being on her knees, sobbing hysterically and holding me so tight it hurt. And I remember asking her why she was crying, which made her cry even more. Reading your post I think I understand why now, in a whole new way.

    Now my experience wasn't scary or painful, but I think my point still applies, and that point is this: I'm willing to bet that if Hutch remembers this at all when he's older, he's not going to remember it the way you do right now. He's going to remember his mom coming to his rescue and doing whatever it took to make sure he was okay, and comforting him when he was scared and not feeling well. And hugging him, and crying. He's going to remember how much you love him and how you were there for him when he needed you. So while you think about it as the awful day you looked at your phone for a minute too long, he'll most likely remember it as the day he took off his floaties and would've drowned if his super mom hadn't seen him and jumped into the water. I hope thinking of his perspective (instead of his experience, which are two different things) helps you feel better whenever you feel like you've failed in some way. You may not have gotten every step along the way perfect, but you learned what you could change for the future, and it's because of you that your son is still here today– and that's what really counts!

  40. says

    Oh Mama,

    THANK YOU for sharing this. I just linked up to you for the first time through Pinterest and all I can add is 1.) I'm so thankful your son is alive and healthy 2.) Thank you for sharing this and opening yourself up to criticism after such a horrific experience. (I would hope no one would actually criticize you, but this is the internet and anything is possible). As a new mama to a 7 month old, whom I love to capture in countless pictures and videos to post on FB et al. I completely agree with this 'being present' idea. I think its a unique challenge for us modern parents to use technology responsibly and teach that to our children.

    Peace and blessings be with you and your family.
    Warmly,
    Jess
    My recent post The OTHER Four Letter 'S' Word (PART ONE)

  41. Megan Quinlan says

    oh my gosh, I can' only imagine how scary and awful that must have been. As a mom of a 3 year-old boy and an ER nurse, I can tell you, NOBODY was judging you in the ER on being a neglectful mother. (And if they were, shame on them, and they probably don't have kids). We see so many things happen to kids in the blink of an eye, even the best parents in the world can't prevent everything. It''s scary for those of us who are nurses and parents because we realize that things like this happen ALL THE TIME, and it only takes a second and could happen to ANYONE. Thank God Hutch is okay! Your post was really well written and honest – I could just see myself in your place, holding my boy as he turns blue. It's too scary to imagine. I'm so sorry this happened to you, and grateful that your boy is okay.

  42. funcheaporfree says

    WOW WOW WOW, especially to the last group of comments. Seriously, I just turned to my husband with tears in my eyes and said "read these!" I am so touched by all your kind words, encouragement, and stories. It's amazing how we are all connected somehow, and how much of a sense of family I feel when reading all your comments. I wish I could give you all a big hug in person, here's the best I can do! XOXO, Jordan

  43. Patti Richards says

    Thank you for sharing your story. The most important thing a young mother can take away from this story is how important it is not to wait when your child is in crisis! Call out for help from others, yell, "Help, help! Someone call 911!" As you learned, it only takes a moment of looking away for a child to be in danger. Another important tip is to take a Red Cross CPR class to learn what to do in the case of an emergency! They teach so much more in a CPR class than just how to do CPR. So important! Never, ever take your child to a pool where life-guards are not present. I'm not sure from your piece if there were life-guards on duty at the time, but lifeguards are crucial. Also, never count on anything but a coast-guard approved flotation device (life-jacket) to protect your non-swimming toddlers in the pool. Water wings are great tools, but they can lead to overconfidence and are simply too easy for a child to remove. Never leave a sleeping child alone in a house, even if it's just for a few minutes while waiting for a babysitter. The monitor is a great tool as well, but it can't replace someone physically near a child for protection. I've had to take more than one child with me to the ER before, and even though it's challenging, you can do it! Finally, get your child swim lessons as soon as possible. Children are never too young to begin learning a healthy respect for water safety and the basic skills they need to keep them safer in a pool. I am a mother of three, a former teacher and a former pediatric nurses aid, and have learned over the years how important each of these things can be in protecting your children in and around water. My kid are 20, 15 and 13, and we've had our fair share of ER trips over the years. Accidents happen, and sometimes there is no way to prevent them, but following these tips will keep your children safe around water. I know all about being present and how precious life is as my story includes some incredible health challenges in the past two years for my oldest. God truly watches over our children and goes places with them we can never go, but applying some basic safety principles (not just around the pool but all over the house) can cut down on the risk to little ones who can't protect themselves. So glad your son is OK. Blessings to all you young moms out there!

  44. Melinda says

    I too am crying my eyes out. Thank you for sharing this heart wrenching story. I'm glad your little man recovered. I have 5 daughters my oldest is 21, my youngest 3. There have been so many times when I've felt guilty for things that have happened when I should have been paying more attention, we all do it, sometimes things go very wrong, and sometimes we learn a big lesson in the process so although it was a horrible experience, please don't be too hard on yourself. Because of your honesty and courage to share your experience, I will be extra attentive, hold on to those hugs just a little longer and really enjoy each moment I have with these girls. Thank you <3 PS yes, I'm STILL crying, LOL!!

  45. funcheaporfree says

    Wow Amy, thanks for sharing! I LOVE Your article! I hope it helps inspire others to avoid the mistake I made. Thanks for sharing, I'm touched!

  46. says

    You are so brave. I can't imagine how hard it was to write this post – most moms would pretend there was another story; one that didn't involve a cell phone. You owned up to your mistakes and you learned from it. Thank God for you and thank God your little boy is OK. I am sharing this on my blog too.

  47. says

    Normally I am just a lurker on your blog. Read your post from earlier today with a link to this particular post. I have been trying to stay away from social media as well, haven't had a scenario like you just had, but just something I felt I needed to do for me and my family. Thank you for sharing this story, I just shared it on facebook, for today in our local newspaper I read of three drownings this past weekend here in Southern Ontario, two of which were a young brother and sister out with cousins swimming in one of our Great Lakes, which have deadly undertows. Your story sends a powerul message to all of us parents that we need to be mindful and present with our children at all times. And don't worry, you aren't a neglectful mom, and we all have "bad mommy" moments, I have lost count of mine through the last almost 17 years of parenting. {{{{hugs}}}}

    P.S. I understand how hard it is with the xray, my own son at the age of 14 months had to endure that same contraption when he had to go to ER for a very serious case of croup. Even though he could hardly breath and had no voice, he screamed and screamed as best as he could, broke my heart as well.
    My recent post Booths, Dance, Dinner, Great Big Sea. It has been quite a weekend.

  48. Linda says

    I am sending this pos tto my daughter and grandgchildren. They are so addicted to their phones that I feel I am the only one keeping track of my great grandchildren and I am not with them that much. I hate the cell phones, no one is paying attention to the people right in front of them. I am so glad ypur son is ok and your guardian angel was watching you and made you look up at the right time. And Hutche's was watching over him too. Take care.

  49. Stephanie says

    I am so glad your son is okay. I also learned this same lesson when my daughter was young (she is now 13). A similar thing happened with my daughter the FIRST time I took her to a pool (oh, and it was my wedding anniversary!). We had gotten out of the pool and were walking to where our things were and I was in front. I turned around and my daughter was not behind me. She had enjoyed the pool so much, she decided to go back in. When I saw her, she was face down in the water! A friend was closer to where she was in the pool and noticed when I did and jumped in and got her. Fortunately, her lips were not blue and she wasn't unconscious, but it was certainly scary and a lesson on being present and aware. Again, I am so glad your son, like my daughter, is okay.

  50. Laura Oreamuno E. says

    Thank you for sharing so honestly your feelings and the reality of how we manage to get things "done". Thanks for refreshing our priorities . So sorry it had to happen in such a painful way. Best wishes for you and your family. Laura Oreamuno. Grandma uncharged of two girls. Costa Rica.

  51. Diane ebel says

    Wow , so glad he is well, what an awesome post thank you for sharing! A child at my pool removed that exact same pool floaty device and slipped in just for a brief moment, his nurse mom instantly retrievd him but we were very surpised how quickly he got out of it! Being a pool owner i prefer the regular swimmies nice and tight on the arms and of course being completely aware of the surroundings, Thanks for sharing your heart, many will watch a little closer and you may have saved some lives by sharing this heart wrenching reminder.

  52. Patty says

    Wow! I don't comment often, but I just had to on this one. Thank you, Thank You for this heart-wrenching, touching story. I needed to be reminded to be PRESENT and your story certainly gave me a big JOLT!

  53. Bel says

    I so needed to read this. Recently headed overseas and the phone got left at home – it was like a limb had been chopped off… my 2 year old needs a more present mummy. This is has been so important for me to read. Thank you.

  54. Lynne @ Mumma Funk says

    Your story brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing. Being 'Present' has popped up a lot for me lately so I take heed of your warning and move forward all the wiser after your post. So glad to hear that your little man is ok. Sending love to you from one mum to another xxx

  55. says

    My friend Jennifer posted your blog to FB and I am really glad she did. I know that when I am done commenting here I will re-post it to my FB profile and maybe even include a link on my blog. Your post here is a very important one and I was so glad to read in the beginning that your son only near-drowned and did not really drown. I strongly believed with reading that in the beginning that I would be strong and not cry one tear. Well when I finally got to your words "the flood gates opened", those words were like magic to my tears. I am really really really glad that your son is alive today!
    I have a cell phone but it's one of those basic pre-paid ones. It can get internet service but it inhales the minutes so all I use it for is mostly to text my next door neighbor. We live right across the street and my husband teases that we would just get walkie-talkies instead. I know though that if I had a smart phone or something like that, I would be heavily distracted too. Text messaging alone is distracting because I am so horrible at it – takes me 5 minutes to write a short message because my fingers keep pressing the wrong letter or I go past the letter I need sometimes 2-3 times in a row. Gets kind of annoying lol.
    You have given an important message to all parents and caregivers. When it comes to your kids – for whatever they are doing, don't let yourself get distracted. Whatever it is, it can wait. The TV can wait, the computer can wait – when it all comes down what's more important – it's your kids.
    My recent post Summer Vacation day 39

  56. Tina Farewell says

    Wow! I can't imagine going through this, but praising God your little guy came through it.

    When my children were young, we decided to never use any flotation devices, but, instead, taught them to swim while they were tiny. Here's a summary of why water wings are so bad.

    WATER WINGS–FALSE SENSE OF SECURITY

    1 in 5 parents mistakenly think air-filled "water wings" can protect their child from drowning. (Source: KidsHealth/The Nemours Foundation, June 2004, Most Kids Who Drowned Were Supervised, Study Finds)

    The truth about water wings:

    1) the false sense of security they give a child and parent may cause a parent to not be as vigilant in their supervision.

    2) water wings can slip off or deflate, and the child will submerge and not have any skills on which to rely.

    3) the posture practiced and learned while wearing water wings is not conducive to effective swimming, floating, or survival. Should the child fall in, or purposefully go into the water without them, he or she will automatically assume the posture that has always "worked" for him/her and expect to be able to breathe. It is naive to think that the ensuing struggle will result in a positive outcome unless immediate rescue by an adult occurs.

    While no child should ever be considered completely "safe" in the water, having a skilled and confident child is a much safer bet than relying on water wings. Make sure your child can swim and float independently!

  57. Karen says

    Jordan, you don't know me. A friend posted this story on FB and I read it from beginning to end. It made me cry for you and for my dear friend whose grandson died a year ago this month; he drowned in a pool in Utah because his father was not present. He was the same age as your Hutch. Their lives will never be the same; the hurt will never go away. I am so glad you did not have to endure what they did. I am so glad that you have made these vows to be present and to break the addiction from your phone and media–FB and texting. I get that it's hard. I watch my son who is just 14 checking his phone for FB messages constantly all day and find his many posts throughout the day when I look at FB once a day. I also worry for you about how hard this will be and how hard you will have to work at it. Just making a vow is not going to be enough; you are going to need to renew that vow daily and continue to relive the terror of what you and Hutch went through over and over as it gets further away. This is not a judgement (I am a parent too and I hate the judgements that come), but when you say you need to find the remote and you need to make sure you have Toy Story 3 for your TWO year old and then you say that you texted while driving on the way home I am alerted to how deep into the media you are and thus how hard it will be for you to be present. While you are driving if you are texting or talking you know that this is not being present to the car on the road. So my thought is simply that you continue to renew your vow daily. I will do this with you. I will share your story and help my son and my friends to be more present as well–in yours and Hutch's honor. I will do this. Please stop texting while driving, ok? Thanks so much for your story and your courage in telling it so that you might inspire and help others.

  58. says

    Jordan, I would like to say that I loved reading your post. Loved your courage for being so honest, loved the way you described exactly how things happened. I think everyone can relate to what happened to you. We love our kids. We protect them. We are good moms. But things can happen if we are not present as you said. Even to the ones who say that something like that would never happen to them. I´ve been thinking about what you said for some time now. I live in Brazil and the same thing happens over here too. FB, twitter, blogs, instagram, pinterest take so much of our real lives that we should all think things over. It´s wintertime here in Brazil right now. If you allow it, I´d like to translate it to Portuguese and publish on my blog when summertime begins. But with the proper credit to you and the link to your blog. I think more and more people should read and realize it could happen to them. I also read that post "Drowning Doesn’t Look Like Drowning" some time ago and it made me think about the danger we´re not aware of sometimes and how we think that because we are "paying attention", this could never happen. Thanks for posting this! And I´m so glad to hear your little boy is ok! Luciana
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  59. funcheaporfree says

    Karen, Thanks for your encouragement and concern! The reason I (very specifically) humbled myself and admitted to the texting and driving was to show how easy it is to do. I don't normally text and drive, but (as you can imagine) my phone was ringing off the hook. I have speech-to-text so phones make it all too easy now! It's too easy to get distracted! Most of my texting I used to do at red lights, but STILL. Can't it wait? I now try to leave my phone in the empty seat to avoid temptation, but it's so hard. I'm working on it though!
    That was my point, we are all involved whether we know it or not! And no, I don't mind your comment about the Toy Story 3 and the remote. I was just waiting for someone to bring it up :)
    We actually don't allow TV in our house for the kids, unless they are sick or on special occasions (family movie night, etc.) The remote was for the sitter who was going to sit bored for 3 hours while Priya napped. But still…what happened to reading? I've never seen a sitter bring a book over, it's sad!
    And the Toy Story 3 is because we spent 6 hours in a hospital with nothing to do…and even though my son had just had a scary experience, he's still two and has the attention span of a squirrel :) haha. It's his favorite movie so I grabbed it just in case. It's my special little backup.
    Now, here's an important point I want to make very clear…there is nothing wrong with technology! My ipad and movies have saved my life on road trips with my kids! And beautiful blessings have come to my life from the blessings of technology. But you're right, the point is to be CONNECTED and present and remember that there is a time and a place for everything. Thanks for keeping me on-track!

  60. Betty says

    I'm so glad your son's okay, i couldn't help crying as I followed the story though. My girl fell off a stool which she had placed on our glass coffee table because i didn't get her off immediately and wanted to snap a shot for her father instead.
    May your family always be safe and blessed.

  61. bel says

    I am tearing as I read your blog. Its a very very important reminder to me and I am also going to pledge my presence to my son, my daughter and my husband. My son also nearly drowned and the thing was, I wasnt even on the phone. I was in the pool with him BUT NOT PRESENT. he really didnt look like he was drowning. he was just a hand's length away from me and he was in the process of showing me that the can hold his breath under water. ;( he was actually drowning. i didnt realise it… =(

    Thank God Hutch is fine now. A close shave. A second chance. Thank God for second chances. We all need it. Hugs….

  62. Kristin says

    It's true, survival swimming lessons are a big expense, but I promise you they are worth every single penny. My friend's 2 year old drowned the day before Mother's Day, 2007. In his grandparent's pool. They wee having a party, and put Christopher in front of the TV so they could entertain. Christopher walked out the door to the pool and got in. There were 20 people at the party, and huge floor to ceiling windows that faced the pool. No one saw him until it was too late. Jordan, thank you for sharing your story and for being so so honest. I don't know you, but I am sighing with relief that your baby is ok and that you get to share this story with all of us. After Christopher died, we put our kids (then 3 and 10 months) in survival swimming, and have gone back to their instructor twice a year since. My 10 month old learned to save herself in a pool before she could walk. My kids (now 5 and 8) are incredible swimmers, which provides a lot of fun and peace of mind at the pool. But. Your story reminds me that even tho my kids can swim better than I, I don't get to check out at the pool (or anywhere for that matter). Even if you don't go ahead with survival swimming, I urge you to research drowning statistics. They are horrifying, and you will learn so much about what not to do. I will share your story, thank you think you thank you. And if you are interested, the group we used is infantswim.com. Kristin

  63. Jen says

    So sorry for your experience. It takes a lot to share such a story. But sharing it via text/fb while driving home? The first thing you do is reach for the very vice that almost cost you your son? You were spared this time. Please don't text and drive. Please don't text and drive. Please don't text and drive. There are so many other moms who have had similar experiences of not being in the moment, texting while behind the wheel, and have suffered the ultimate consequence. Put your phone in the glove compartment or in your purse in the trunk if you have too. I wish you and your family the best.

  64. Michelle says

    I just read this via the Hand Free Revolution and I'm about in tears. I MUST make those changes to be actually 'be present'. I myself have had some close calls with my kids falling because I'm too busy checking my phone or like you thinking how to take the captured moment and put it on Facebook so I look like a better, fun mom. My husband has even made comments about spending time instead of worrying about someone contacting me from work or what other people are 'doing' on social media. Thank you for being so brave to share your story and to document it. I see the negative feedback that you shouldn't have taken pictures and writing so soon but the pictures and thoughts right 'in the moment' make it more powerful and could help prevent a tragedy. Praying that you have peace over this situation.

  65. Nina says

    From my hands free revolution fb comment: God bless her for being so open and honest!!!!!  We have all made mistakes and it may save many more kids since she shared her story. I too find myself distracted from my kids… Even to document and share their beautiful faces and stories with family and friends who are not there!  At times i realized that i do it out of lonliness- wanting someone else to be there and experience my two perfect blessings with me.  She is a truly humble mom.  Someone full of pride would hide and not share, but she is choosing to try to help the rest of us who will listen!  Praying that God heals her with his all-consuming Grace to let go of the anxiety and guilt. All things will work together for the good of those who love him!!!  

  66. Jennifer says

    I just read this and instantly knew it was a divine appt. This is somethin I struggle with, at home with the computer (I"m on it right now)…and with my phone. My kids and my hubby also call me out on it, it's in it's own way an addiction. I've gone on FB fasts and media fasts. It resets my priorities for a time, but I always managed to get sucked back in. Hearing this was another shot between the eyes that was much needed. Thanks for being so real and raw about your thoughts. I think more of us have them than you know. The part of the ER bill…that would have been me too! Thanks for sharing your story! I know it will do so much good! Remember, bad mommy moments do not make you a bad mommy! I read that quote this week and it was encouraging to ME. SO glad your angel is ok!! Hugs!

  67. Kerra Davis says

    I found your blog through "the hands free revolution" Facebook page. I am so glad your son is ok. I am trying to do the same and stay as hands free as possible while with my kids and family. It's hard I agree. However, try to not be so hard on yourself. It could have happened to anyone!! You are a wonderful mother and your kids are lucky to have you. IT COULD HAVE BEEN ANYONE! don't beat yourself up. Yes thank your heavenly father for sparing him ask to help you to be more present but you are A wonderful mother that simply made a mistake. Have a good hands free weekend with your beautiful family <3

  68. Jennifer says

    Jordan, I just read your post as a friend had posted it on her FB page. First I want to say I'm so sorry for what you and your baby went through- I hope that time is healing some of your pain and guilt though I know this is something you will never forget. Secondly, I want to thank you for having the courage to share such a painful story with complete honesty. What a brave thing to do! In doing so you surely have prevented this story from being relived by someone else. I've always been very cautious (maybe even a bit paranoid) with my kids around water unfortunately this is due to a friend of mine losing her 18mo old to drowning. This was before I was married or had kids but the vision of that baby laying in hospital bed on life support has been forever etched in my memory. However, in saying that I think that your lesson in being truly present translates to so many other scenarios that could have very different endings. I see myself in much of what you described, taking photos and posting, checking email for 'just a minute', talking to my kids while typing on the computer, etc. Thinking I'm one step ahead for multi-tasking… The topic of being truly present has been on my mind lately especially as I'm realizing how fast my kids are growing up (13,10 & 3) but I want to truly thank you for this harsh reminder that it needs to be more than on my mind but in my actions starting TODAY! In addition to the safety factor, my kids deserve a mom that is present for them overall. So again, thank you and know that your story made a difference in my life.

  69. Michele says

    THANK YOU so much for sharing this life-changing event with all of us.
    I am blessed with an incredible husband and amazing little angel, and am also guilty of "being there" without being "present" sometimes. Your experience was a lesson for you, and because you shared, is now a lesson for me. I'm so glad your baby boy is okay!… and though it's hard not to beat yourself up, I'm so glad that you are able to pull the positive from this situation… that is God's intent!

    Thank you again for sharing this with all of us so that we may not have to go through what you've been through. I can tell from reading your blog that you are an AWESOME mommy!! Your sweet little angels are very lucky :)

  70. anonymous says

    That must have been an absolutely horrifying experience, but believe me, a near drowning is not the same as drowning. You still have your baby. My 4 year old nephew is gone forever.

  71. Jen says

    Thank you for sharing your story. What a horrible experience for you. I am very glad that it ended so well for all of you. This post will help a lot of other people put down their phones and spend some focused time with their children. thank you.

  72. funcheaporfree says

    Jen – Yes, I'm with ya!! Thanks for the reminder! But no, I wasn't posting to social media while driving, I was talking with frantic family members (they all live around the country). I have speech-to-text so there is hands-free texting, but really, is that any better?? It was a wake-up call for sure. Thanks for the encouragement!

  73. funcheaporfree says

    Wow, I'm overwhelmed with love for you all! Can it be that I really feel *hugged* through the computer??? Because I swear I do! Thank you all for your encouragement. We are all better than ever, Hutch is doing great, and his favorite activity is still swimming! (go figure :))
    XOXO -Jordan

  74. Danielle Kappes says

    While the numbers could never be tracked, I seriously believe the experience you have shared will save the lives of several children. You woke my eyes up to quit being connected to everything via my iPhone and start connecting with my children. I have shared your post with everyone I know. Countless children have drowned in bathtubs even while Mom thought all is well while on the computer. I am lucky this never happened to me.

    But seriously, your message was heard!!!! And I saw several of my friends shared it on Facebook with their friends. We Moms need to disconnect from everything else and be there for her kids. Your thoughts on putting the phone down and interact/play instead of browsing your phone while half heartedly playing. I have made similar resolutions after reading your article. Eternally grateful!!!! -Danielle

  75. Sonya in Calabasas says

    Your story is touching and truly eye opening. The son of a friend of mine nearly drowned last summer at a birthday party. Her son, who was wearing arm floaties either took one off or it came off and he didn't replace it but the moments after were horrifying. None of us saw the floatie come off so didn't even realize it was missing. As the moms sat in a group talking, my husband and I sat apart from them, close to the pool, watching the kids play but mostly keeping an eye on our children. I'm a non-swimmer and only happened to notice one little boy was having trouble in the water. I pointed him out to my husband and in that very same moment, it became apparent that something was not right. By this time everyone took notice and we called to my then 7 year old to swim over to the boy in trouble and swim him to safety. My husband had taught my son how to help someone in trouble just in case my then 6 year old was in the water and needed help. My husband had been a junior lifeguard when he was younger and that training, which he passed on to our boys, came in handy that day. I am starting to cry as I think about that day last summer and think about how you must have felt seeing your son nearly drown. My heart goes out to you. Thank God your son was spared and I pray that you are able to forgive yourself. God knows you would never to anything to intentionally harm your son and you are very blessed. Thank you. I, too, will try to be "present.". Being present is something I struggle with but know I can achieve "presence" if I take baby steps. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  76. Jen says

    Thank you for sharing your story. You are brave to do so and admit your faults — we all have them and I have been guilty of not being present for my boys many, many times…something that I, too, want to change about myself and my mothering. I'm so glad that your Hutch is ok. Just think of all the other little ones that you may have helped, even saved, by sharing this story and opening the eyes of others. Thanks again — sending warm thoughts your way.

  77. says

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. It is so true and vital that we learn a lesson from your experience. I know it could have been me or so many others. I am sharing this everywhere I can- everyone needs to read this.

    Thank you for your honest and thank God for Hutch's life.

    Warmly,

    Jenn
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  78. says

    Thanks for sharing your story. My friend posted on Facebook today and this really is a wake up call. We have been spending the summer at the pool and beach with my kids who are similar in age. I am constantly on guard but it does only take a second. We are trying to eliminate floatation devices all together. Kids become too dependent and take longer to learn how to swim in situations like this. It's a good lesson for all of us. Put down the phones and be present. Thanks for sharing and I'm so grateful your son is safe.
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  79. LaVonna says

    Thanks for a post. I am a grandma and great-grandma. We didn't have cell phones and i-phones when my children were small, but I can still relate. There are always other things to take our thoughts and minutes away from the "NOW". I know why you wrote this, but remember that we are all human. When we fall we need to ask God's forgiveness and also forgive ourselves, and make needed changes.

  80. Rachel says

    Oh my word, what a strong mama you are. Thank you for posting this, I have goose bumps, I have a two year old, and I love playing with photos too, thank you for reminding us it only takes one moment for something to go wrong, you are a good mama, don't think otherwise for a second, so happy he is safe, so happy for you all.

  81. gschultek says

    This was inspiring to read and surely had me in tears. As a teacher, blogger, weekend babysitter, and summer nanny I see myself clearly in this scenario. It can happen to anyone. Being present is important. Don't we want to have wonderful memories of bonding with friends and family instead of reaching an all time high texting average? Being present in the good and the bad is what shapes us. This "wake up" call is a lesson for us all and one I won't take lightly. Thank you for writing so candidly. I wish the best for your son and entire family. God Bless.

    Always A Lesson

  82. kelly says

    Thank you SO MUCH! I am beyond guilty of never "unplugging" and always multitasking with email, Facebook, Pinterest while spending time with my 2 toddlers. I am DONE as of now. I am so thankful Hutch is okay. Thank you for sharing this terrifying story…..it definitely woke me up. My sweet boys thank you!

  83. Anonymous says

    Glad your son is alright. I am glad that you get a 2nd chance when so many people don't. Hope you know that I am grateful this story has a happy ending.

  84. Anonymous says

    I think I am going to set new goals to not be on my laptop, watching tv etc. I am going to work on being present as well, this is such a good lesson learned.

  85. Iris says

    Thank you for sharing. It doesn't make you a bad parent to need a wake up call. There are good parents who have seen their babies die avoidable deaths. But it makes us all better parents to be reminded of the huge importance of being present at all times. Especially with young children who introduce an unprecedented degree of unpredictability into our lives, we don't just need to be 24/7 lifeguards, we need to be watchful, thoughtful, engaged. Remembering this is something that can save lives and can improve all the remaining lives. Thank you for your reminder.

  86. s.h. mom of three says

    this post made me cry and cry, it could happen to anyone. Thanks for sharing your story and being so brave and honest. I will make this a priority! Thanks for your wisdom!

  87. ruth says

    You should know that I stumbled upon this by accident and you have moved me beyond words. No not only moved. You have sowed a seed within me that soon will grow so big, I will be unable to ignore it and then, I will be truly present, especially for my two precious babies. What a gift for writing you have. Look how many people you have touched! You are a good mother and your two babies are blessed to have a mother with such amazing self awareness to bring them up. G-d bless you all from London! xx

  88. says

    I am so sorry this happened to your little guy. So scary that even though we feel better than most moms, things like this can happen to anyone. It literally only takes a split second whether on your phone or not! I am so happy that you actually view this as a wake up call & not just another accident. Your post has showed me that when I'm on my laptop while "playing" with my son, or on pinterest as he sits and watches a movie that that is not really spending time with him, it's being around. So sorry this happened to you all, but so glad he's okay! God Bless You Guys!
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  89. Sarah says

    When my daughter was a few months past 2 years old, I was with her and my almost 5-y-o at Sundance up Provo canyon. It was a hot summer day and the kids wanted to walk around in the pond there. So I sat at the edge while they walked and splashed. I struck up a conversation with a visitor from back East and we enjoyed a pleasant chat. At one point the woman turned to me, pointing out in the pond, and said, "Uh, is she okay?" My 2-y-o was floating face-down in the water. I jumped in and snatched her up in my arms. We came out of the water and I assessed her. I don't know how long she was like that–couldn't have been too long. She seemed to have instinctively held her breath, but she was pretty shaken. As was I. Several times on the way back to the car she said to me as I clutched her sweet, chubby hand, "Mommy, you saved my wife!" Though my experience was not as traumatic as yours, it was definitely a wake-up call. There are just some things that require full attention. Being around water is one of them. It was then that I said to myself, "Swimming lessons are required in our family." I'm glad that you didn't lose your little boy that day.

  90. Momof two says

    Thank you for putting yourself out there! Cried the whole story- I like you took my 2yr to the pool & my 5 yr old (the pool is in my backyard). My friend came over with her 4 kids who all swim very well. i got out & was holding my 2 yr old, me & my friend started talking- I forgot we took my 2yr olds swimmies off. She went to sit on the steps to the pool & walked down all the steps. Only seconds passed & looked at the steps-oh! she's not there! Oh! she is at the bottom of the shallow, arms out just there, not fighting to breathe or trying to swim. Jumped in got her, none of the kids ever noticed. they were arms lenght away. mad at myself- how could this happen. Finally sit her up in my lap- she cries. I say outloud Thank you Lord for the hedgerow of protection I prayer around my children everyday. My child was spared. Now am very present!!!!!

  91. says

    Thank you so much for sharing this story, this is so inspirational because these are the things you know happen, but usually you don't get a second chance. This is why you have to hug your kids every day and tell them you love them.

    This story really opened my eyes and made me look more into the signs of drowning. There not what everyone thinks and more people need to be able to recognize them. And also, you shouldn't feel bad about being on your phone though, because everybody does it and your not alone. Don't beat yourself up too much over it. Just make sure to get the story out there so others don't have to go through what you did.
    I have been following your posts for a while but never commented, but this one really said something to me and I had to let you know. Thank you again for sharing, I made sure to pin it, so others can read and maybe potentially save someone.
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  92. jenn M says

    Oh my gosh this totally wrecked me. ;'(
    I thank God he was ok! Thank you for warning others. Totally could save a life.
    Or just enrich a parent/child relationship/s that were not what they could/should be.
    We're all guilty of it. You're a good mom. <3

  93. Jackie says

    This happened with my son 9 years ago. He's now a fine, strong 15 year old young man. That day, I was on the lawn by the pool and watched him in the water. I wondered why he was doing the backstroke when I knew he hadn't learned the backstroke in the swimming lessons he just finished. I walked up to him just as he started to swirl headfirst toward the bottom of the pool. The lifeguard on duty never noticed him because he did not look like he was in distress, he was doing a slow motion backstroke. The paramedics were called and we went to the ER in an ambulance. He was released after observation and they determined there was no water in his lungs. It was difficult for me to go to the pool for probably the next four summers. Reading this blog and writing my comments bring back the bad feelings. People looked at me like I was the worse kind of mother, but I know I watched him in his slow motion struggle, and only I could tell there was something wrong. The lifeguard ended up quitting that line of work, even though I assured her she did what she could, she was not at fault in any way. I thank God every day for my son's life and for the fact he did not inhale water and had no after effects. Thank God your son had the best outcome as well.

  94. Kaitlin Lowe says

    Some how I stumbled across your blog and read this post… and I cant help but feel God had His purpose in it. When I was 8 years old my 2 year old little brother drowned and died in our back yard pool. My mom was busy on the phone when it happened… Not to blame her at all ( God allowed so many good things to come from it) but to say I really do see what you are saying and mean by being "Present". I am now 24 years old, married and about to have a baby boy ( the first baby in the family since my brothers death) in less then 2 months… And im not going to lie but the fear of the same thing happening to me as a mom has haunted my thoughts since I got pregnant. BUT some how reading about your experience with your son has allowed me to see things in a new light that give me peace. I truly do believe that we are in culture that is filled with so much self focused media that is robs us of what truly matters in life. I am completely not innocent of this and quite guilty of allowing these things to rob me of life and being "present" in these moments. But after reading your post I feel so lead to put down my phone and my computer and everything that distracts me from life and enjoy a moment of feeling my son kick inside me and start RIGHT NOW by promising myself and God that will learn to be "in the now" and not let life slip away from me by being distracted. Thank you for your post!:)

  95. Brittney says

    I have been following your blog for sometime, and only just came across this post. All I can say is – how truly horrific. I can't imagine. How many of us moms do things like this on a daily basis- when we're here, but not fully?? This is such a great reminder to me. Thank you for this post, and thank goodness your sweet little boy is okay.

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  97. Jenny says

    Thank you for sharing your story! I needed to be reminded today of how precious my sweet children are. Best wishes!

  98. Michelle says

    I appreciate you sharing your story. You are right about facebook and instagram and such things taking away time with our kids. But I think you're being too hard on yourself. Kids used to drown before facebook and instagram, sometimes these things just happen – it's not always the mom's fault. You can't watch your kids 24/7….it's not healthy for them or you. I hope we all are able to find a right balance with technology and families – it's definitely a new challenge for this generation of moms. Above all, I'm glad your sweet son is okay.

  99. Sue says

    What a terrible experience for you, it is every mothers nightmare, I am so glad your son survived the ordeal. My children are grown up now but I have young grandchildren so it is a good reminder to me of how quickly these things can happen. What I also found shocking was that people have to worry about paying for a visit to the ER. It must be terrible to have to have to make the decision as to whether they need to be checked out. As someone who is not medically trained, how are you meant to know? My son has dyspraxia, he was always having accidents when he was younger, if there was something to fall off, he would!! Without having to worry about cost, I would bundle him into the car and take him to the hospital to get him checked out, x-rayed or anything else he needed. He now has a chronic illness which means he can get very poorly, very quickly, so we are frequent visitors to the local hospital, where they usually keep him in, do all the tests and give any necessary treatment. All free of charge, thanks to our National Health Service in the UK. My heart goes out to you, at such a stressful time to have the added worry of how you are going to pay for it. Best wishes, to you and your family, may you stay safe and healthy

  100. Marta says

    This should be required reading at every pool for every parent. Brave of you to write. So blessed with the outcome. Thank you for sharing.

  101. Sonja says

    I am so glad that he is okay! This was an eye-opening post for me. I am often tuned-out of what's going on around me due to the phone. Thank you for sharing candidly. God is good!

  102. Steph says

    things like this can happen to any of us. We need to support each other and not have those "oh you're one of those parents" faces because the reality is kids move FAST and this could've happened just as easily had you been chatting with another mom or changing your daughter's diaper. Don't beat yourself up but stick to your goal to stay present. You are a great Mom and it's brave of you to candidly tell your story! Thank you :)

  103. says

    Jordan–That was a scary and powerful story. And you are very brave to share it. I have had a couple really scary moments in my life as a parent–one just last week when my daughter was face down in the pool at seven peaks which was PACKED with kids (and really hard to keep your eye on yours.) And every day I have this lingering fear in my head that something will happen to one of my kids and I will lose them. But that fear is good because it's what helps me to be patient and loving even when I'm mad at them and to be more careful and pay better attention. I'm so glad that your son was okay. I've spent the night in the hospital with my two year old and I know how scary it can be when you finally realize that YES WOW, my kid's life was THIS close to ending and my life would have been over. I can't imagine how difficult it must be lose a child and that is my absolute worst fear. Horrible experience but a great post. XOXO
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  104. Missie says

    What a sad story. Not him almost drowning, that was a great lesson for you and all your readers. but how much guilt and sadness you are feeling and putting on yourself. Most all of us Moms place such a heavy load of guilt on ourselves. I really want you to think about talking to a counselor. I am not a counselor or Dr, Im a police Dispatcher and know my share of Mom guilt. Talking to a counselor can teach you ways of handling the sorrow and guilt and low feelings that you are having to deal with right now. as an outsider I can think of lots of ways this could effect you and your parenting. Talking to someone could help ease your pain, bring back some happiness and help you deal with this issue between you, yourself and your child, Please think about it. It is another expense but could be well worth it to bring you some peace. Im so glad your little boy is safe at home with you. Those little ones are our hearts and souls.

  105. Alicia W says

    This was amazing. I felt like it happened to me. Thank you for being brave and sharing. Focus on the happy ending and I hope you don't best yourself up about this any more.

  106. Meagan says

    This is beautifully done, and could happen to any of us in a heartbeat, thankfully you wrote this so that people like me can use this icy cold fear to remember to be present. I'm thankful for your blog!

  107. KateTkP says

    Wow, it must have been hard so hard for you writing and remembering this at the same time, I felt your feelings, and really thank you for your courage to post this and being honest, because your experience will help moms like me to be more present in our kids life… I appreciate really much your sincerity and I really want to make that commitment with my family too, to be less present in social media and present in my beloved ones life (because many people in social media will not be with us for ever but our family will), specially my little son I always want to be present for him. I notice that when our kids are sad or suffering is when we start to regret things that we didn't do good, that happened to me many times, changing is a long process but start with a decision, and there is always repentance but a true repentance. Social media is good, because thank to social media I could read your post but if we make that social media control our lives, decisions and future it will only bring sad things, I'm so glad that you are honest to set a goal to reduce time on internet, i really see sincerity on you, I want to do that as well. Everybody makes mistakes but is up to us in recognizing them and try to evaluate them and start a change, I hope I didn't say nothing bad, English is my second language, so mainly I want to express in a big thanks to your post and wish you success in your goals, and happiness and long life to your family. And you are a great mom for your kids I know that they know that, we are great for them even when we make mistakes, we are invaluable for them, well you made a mistake that brought a scary consequence, but it takes courage to make a change for your beloved ones. God loves you and your family, He sometimes does or does not give a second chance but He still loves us, He just have of a reason that we need to find out.

  108. Sheila says

    This was so hard for me to read and what a horrific experience. Thank GOD that he is OK and tears just fell from my eyes.

  109. funcheaporfree says

    Everyone, thank you SO MUCH for your comments and love! I am so thrilled that even one year later, this post is still touching hearts…including mine. I have made a pact with myself to re-read it every year. It's hard to relive the experience, but it inspires me every time to dedicate specific times in my date for social media, and to focus on my kids the rest of the time. I love you all more than you know! XOXO Jordan

  110. Michelle says

    I just discovered your blog today, and my heart ached for you as I read this post. I am thrilled that he is ok, and feel that you are blessed in every way to have him to hold again. Thank you for sharing this, as hard as it may have been. I have been making a conscience effort just recently to put away the cell phone and just 'be'. We can never get this time back with our kids, and we need to be present EVERY minute that they need us. God bless you and keep you in His Loving Arms!

  111. Samantha says

    Jordan, I almost didn’t read this post, I didn’t want to, but I did. I am balling my eyes out!!!!!!!!!!!!!! this broke my heart but I am so glad that Hutch is okay that your okay..I have been reading your blog for about 2 weeks now and have been very impressed and learned a lot but right now, I am just blown away!! I totally admire your honesty,i mean, come on we are all humans here. you are an amazing mother, a talented woman, and God has great plans for you and your family and I am just praying blessings and health and love over Hutch, Priya, Beck, Bubba and you right in this moment!!
    Hope to talk to you. XOXO

  112. Justin Hunniecutt says

    Wow I just came across your story and wanted to say how greatful i am for you writing it. This happened to me last saturday with my 6 yr old daughter. I was busy being in my own world while my daughter swam around the edge of the pool. Being an idiotic parent, I let her swim without a flotation devices because she likes to dive down and back up in the SHALLOW end. Well she got a little enthusiatic and got a little too deep to touch and was already tired from swimming around so she didnt have the strength to swim back to the shallow side, nor is she even able to really tread water. Needless to say she struggled while I sat there oblivious to her plight. By the Grace of God, He got my attention and I glanced across the pool looking for her and noticed she wasnt swimming along the edge. She bobbed up and went right back down and I knew she wasn’t ok. When I pulled her out she went limp and was making the most horrible gurgling sound. God healed her and she spit up the water in her lungs as soon as I laid her on the cement side, along with a stomach full of water.

    This coul have gone so much worse, but has been a wakeup call to be present in my children’s life and not just be there, but BE THERE.

    My daughter has moved past it, but knowing how she must have felt as she took what she thought was going to be her last breath is hard for me to bear. I am EATEN up with guilt.

  113. CC says

    I see that this is an old post, but I am so thankful for it nonetheless. Thank you for your bravery in writing this. God bless.

  114. says

    Thanks for sharing your story. It’s being passed around a lot this week and it should!
    My then 2 yr old slipped under the water while AT a swim lesson last year in our neighborhood pool, and no one noticed !And, I was present even! No phone in site! It can happen any time! I ran into the pool and pulled him out. He had given up and was just sinking slowly to the bottom. Worst feeling ever in my life! He was okay, just coughed a bit and cried a lot. He’s still afraid of the water, and I don’t blame him. I’m glad I was there, I’m glad I was present. Hugs to you for posting this :)

  115. Mar says

    I know I’m reading this late as well, but it still applies. That took tremendous courage to post that. Most parents wouldn’t dare let anyone else know something like that. You probably saved many childrens’ lives by posting this because parents who actually read it, are now likely being more “present”. I know I’m guilty of being on my phone while I’m with my kids, but if I’m playing on my phone, I’m not really “with” the kids. Thank you for this. I’m so glad that your son was ok.

  116. Stephanie says

    I’m so glad your baby is ok, and that you have shared this story, I hope it saves lives. I just can’t help but be horribly offended and floored at the texting and driving… I’ve recently been affected by a texting/driving fatality. I’m so sick of the argument that “it could be any of us, we all have done it” NOPE!!! We don’t all do it. Sooooo irresponsible, I’m assuming the baby you almost lost was also in the car with you while u couldn’t bother the 60 seconds it tAkes to pull over and text your message (if it really can’t wait until you get home.) ok, so you were honest about it, but that behavior also kills. Every day!

    • FunCheapOrFree says

      Yup! Which is why I confessed about it, to hopefully draw the habit to everyone’s attention

  117. Kerry says

    Four months ago, Superbowl Sunday, is a day I will never forget. We we’re staying at my father in laws house while moving out of our apartment and getting ready for my husband to leave for Navy Boot Camp. That day he was watching our nearly three year old for us while we were finishing up. I thought I had put my medication out of reach but while we were gone but she found it and ate some. If it hadn’t been for the quick thinking of his girlfriend I would have lost my baby that day. If it wasn’t for the prayers of my family, friends and church I don’t think I could have made it through that first day. What a beautiful gift from God you and I have been given to have a second chance with our babies.

  118. Linda says

    Don’t kick yourself. We are all guilty of not being present these days. I am just so glad that it turned out fine and that you were brave enough to write this experience down.

  119. Dani says

    Thank you thank you thank you. I sobbed while I read this. I have been battling an addiction to my phone and even though I’m fully aware that I’m not present with my children I haven’t been able to stop myself from constantly checking my phone over and over during the day. I needed to hear this so thank you for being willing to share your experience. And I’m so glad your little one is okay.

  120. Chase says

    I am a 25 year old newlywed man with no kids quite yet, and this story made me sob like a child. I am always the guy watching other people’s kids out of the corner of my eye trying to make sure they don’t get hurt, and they always say “when you have kids you’ll relax a little bit, it’s okay for them to fall every now and again.” Maybe that’s true, but I can’t help wanting to be so protective, and I’m sure that will just amplify when they’re mine. I spend a lot of time on my phone, and this truly struck my heart. I will remember this story for years to come when I take my kids to the pool or anywhere else. Thank you for writing this.

    • FunCheapOrFree says

      Yay! So glad to hear from a male! Thanks so much for commenting, means more than you know. God bless!

  121. says

    Thank you for sharing this. Just an eye opener for me. I think in today’s generation it is so easy to not be present in all our doings, your story has made me want to change that. Thank you, thank you!! Big hug to you and your cute family. :)

  122. Beth Edwards says

    I am so glad that your child is okay. It was an accident, please forgive yourself. God sent you a guardian Angel. Yes , be more present. Also look into swimming- There is a survival program that will teach both your kids what to do if they fall in. Remember that a 2 year old can get out of anything and will break rules just because. Also parents please dont rely on swimmies. Anything that inflates , deflates. There are float belts available that are foam, but if your child hasnt grown into his head (0-2 or 3) it will leave them face down. I am a former pre-K teacher and swim instructor, which makes me hyper aware of pool and playground safety issues

  123. Patti says

    I’m so glad your son is okay, but I have to say that I was horrified to read that you texted & drove all the way from the hospital?! How many chances does one think they get?

  124. Becky says

    I am so glad your son is ok!!! Thank you so much for sharing your horrific story and reminding all of us to be present. I needed this reminder so much. Thank you!

  125. Anne says

    my heart aches and i cried as i read through your post. I, too, almost had my little girl drown in front of me. i forever could not forgive myself for being frozen at the sight and did not do anything. an elderly lady sitting next to me by the pool finally got up and picked her up from the water. she was in a wadding pool, only less than a foot of water. she stood in there, bending forward, face in the water, struggling but could not stand up. my nanny and i were next to her, and neither of us got into the water to pull her out. it was only a few seconds, but i could not forgive myself until today. i too, took photos of that day’s event. still have all those pictures, and every time i see them i saw her little arms stroking backwards in the air, struggling to get her little face out of the water. i forever thought that i win the Neglect Mom Award of the Year. it happened when she was 1.5, and now it’s been 4 years and i could not understand why i didn’t pull her out of the water. i saw everything, and i didn’t respond. it shocked me that i might not be as responsive or quick in action as I thought. whenever i have a flashback of that day, i ask God to forgive me. I felt like such a failure of a mom. how could I not love her enough to respond quickly to jump in and pull her out?? i don’t know and it really hurts.

    • FunCheapOrFree says

      Oh Anne my heart breaks for you too! But think of it this way…we were given the gift of a second chance, weren’t we? God is letting us make amends for the choices we made so we get to have a “redo” every day! Don’t kick yourself too much over it, take it as a good learning experience and use it to fuel your desire to be even more present with your daughter. I feel for you, hang in there!

      • Anne says

        Yes, so true. I’m very thankful for the 2nd chances that God has given us. And thank you for the consolation. I’m practicing being present with my children, and hubby, and just in general, too. Your post really spoke to me and I intend to be more present and more purposeful in my daily living. Thank you!

  126. Marydale says

    Jordan – THANK YOU for having the courage to share you personal experience! And to all the other readers sharing theirs, it is clear that this story is not an isolated one. It is particularly poignant because you are brave enough to take the reader through your entire chronological thought process – it has touched a LOT of folks because it is so real! As a provider of water safety education and swim lessons, I have shared your story on our facebook page (soliciting some strong comments!) and it has become part of a permanent collection of training materials used to emphasize to our staff that they are saving lives EVERYDAY. Thank you for enriching our lives by sharing YOUR story!

    • FunCheapOrFree says

      Marydale thank you SO MUCH for your comment, and for sharing it on Facebook as well. Means a lot, and I appreciate the encouragement that it might be helping others out there XOXO

  127. Christa says

    Wow Jordan.. I just want you to know that this really spoke to me. I am sorry you went through this but your story will reach so many people. Being present is so necessary! Our kids grow SO fast. My son is 18 months old and I can’t believe how fast he changes and the things I miss already from when he was little. I know that I struggle with the being present thing because of media but also because of needing to get things done and maintain the house. I tend to be there but not really there. I struggle with it because of working full time. Those few hours at night are consisted of making a quick supper and before you know it its time for bed. I get worn out fast and then the weekends go by so quickly. Things come up and you don’t ever really feel like you have “time”. Such a vicious cycle and easy to get sucked into. You have encouraged me though and I am going to set some goals for myself. Time is too precious.

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