Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Mystery of Water

Yesterday, Brian, his sister Lila and his Mom were hanging in the house while Trinity and I played in the pool. We were spending the day at the home of Lila's friend in Escondido.

Five years ago, Trinity was learning to swim at our local Culver City pool. Midway through the summer, she developed chronic rashes for the first time and swimming in chlorinated pools became a no-no. Any contact between her skin and water was painful for months, and it took years for her to become enthusiastic again about baths, pools or the ocean.

Last summer, she was learning to swim again after all those years. And yesterday was the first time she'd gotten in the water in months. And she almost drowned.

I was sitting on a pool chair, wrapped in a towel. She was hopping around in the shallow end, testing herself to see how far she could go. And she went too far.

I've wondered, in the past, how quickly I would act if one of my children was in danger. Yesterday, I got an answer. I dove in, still wrapped in a towel, and hauled her out. The part that surprised me the most was how completely my body remembered the life-saving training I'd had to take when I was at camp almost thirty years ago - and how completely I remembered that the most important thing is to avoid being dragged down by the person you're saving.

The mystery of water? Thirty seconds after it happened, we were safe.

Something similar happened last summer. The day we returned from vacation, Ashton fell in a bathtub full of water. Both times I was left appreciating the fragility and beauty of my children's lives, and grateful I was there for them.

But otherwise, I have no profound words of wisdom from the experience. Perhaps just that life goes on - crisis averted. Thank God.

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