That time my son almost died because I was on Instagram.

The gift of presence - the story of how a mom didn't notice her son drowning because she was on Instagram.

Once upon a time (aka June 29, 2012) there was a young mom with two young kids. That mom tried to be a good mom, and took pride in her parenting. Her kids were everything to her, and her world revolved around them. But one thing this mom didn't realize is that small and simple distractions were creeping in to her life, slowly driving a wedge between her focused brain, and her kids. She found herself in the same room as them, but not present. Emails, Facebook, texting, and Instagram kept her phone at her fingertips at all times, and her ears only half-listening to the chatter and stories her kids would excitedly spout in her direction.

One day these distractions almost killed her son.

And now, that mom is determined to change and to *hopefully* inspire parents everywhere to do the same.

Please read this story about how I rediscovered The Gift of Presence HERE.

Since June is Focus on Summer month, I really feel strongly that I need to remind you all of the most traumatic experience of my life. Please, I encourage everyone to sit down when you have a quiet moment, grab your spouse, and READ THIS STORY... share it. Email it. Facebook it. Pin it on Pinterest. Not because I want the page views, but because if it helps just one parent avoid the tragic mistake I made, then I can die a satisfied person.

My husband and I sit down together and read it in full every summer, to help remind us how important it is to focus on our kids, especially at the pool. It's still really hard to read. It gives me flutters of anxiety every time I get to the point in the story where I know “it's” coming. I tend to have bad dreams after reading it. To this day it's still hard to watch my son swim, because every time he jumps in the water and is submerged for a moment or two, I picture seeing his blue face under the water. It haunts me. I remember every explicit detail like it was yesterday. But I read it, and read it, and read it every year anyway, because sadly I'm human (aka NOT perfect) and need constant inspiration and reminders.

So, please, READ IT. Share it. Send it to your spouse. And for heaven's sake, give your kids the Gift of Presence this summer.



  1. AvatarEmily says

    oh Jordan!! this post made my heart pound and literally made my head spin. I felt so dizzy while I was reading it. just last summer we had a very similar experience with our then 4 year-old. he ended up having to be life flighted to primary children’s in salt lake because the hospital in st. George didn’t think he would survive. I can related to every.single.thing. you said. to a T! I know what it’s like to see your sons lifeless, blue body lying there. I know how horrible it is not to know if he’s going to live or die. I know how awful it feels to think if I just would have been paying better attention!! I can also relate to how thankful and blessed you feel that things didn’t turn out worse!! but just like you, I still get nervous every time he jumps into the pool. thanks for sharing your story. yours will reach so many more people than mine ever will, and will hopefully help promote awareness. I know you’re busy, but if you have the time or are curious, you can read all about our horrifying story here:
    again – thanks so much for sharing. for that simple reminder that we really DO need to be present in the fragile lives of our children. In a strange, weird way, I feel like I’ve bonded with you today after reading this. I love you and your blog even more 🙂

  2. AvatarJudy says

    Wow….amazing, a blessing…and a strong reminder that with children, friends, family, pets, we need to be present. A lesson I truly need to focus on! Thank you for sharing!

  3. AvatarKimberly says

    Thanks for sharing this story. I have had my own little disasters while being distracted by Instagram (and other social media) which led me to seriously cut back on the time I spend with those things. It’s amazing how distracting those things can be.

    By the way, that pool looks very familiar! That’s my parents’ neighborhood, which we are likely moving into this fall. I would love to meet up with you sometime!

  4. AvatarKristi says

    Hey Jordan. A friend posted your story on FB. I figured it was an article I would skim and move on. Boy was I wrong. I ended up reading and re-reading every word! Thank you! (I also learned you are the wife of one of my favorite Elders from my mission. But don’t tell him I said that, it will just go to his head!!) 😉 I’m sorry you had to go through such a tragic experience, but thank you for sharing your story with the world to inspire so many (including myself) to change. I needed strength today and wanted to thank you for giving it to me. Thank you!!

  5. AvatarMelanie says

    Jordan – I just read this post and shared it with my family. I was in tears reading it, thinking about my own full-of-life 2 year old. THANK YOU for sharing this experience. I have given up Social Media for Lent and it has really been an eye opener. Nothing is more precious than these little, precious lives (or our own!) Thank you, again.

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