Memorial Day NightmareJo Dee Messina
For a little over a month, my life has consisted of days and nights sitting by my mother’s hospital bed. Every moment has been nerve-wracking, and every day exhausting. My kids are my mother’s angels though (all of her grandkids are). Her entire stay in the ICU, whenever she is awake and alert, she asks about the kids. Are they safe? Who is taking care of them? Throughout her whole ordeal, she has always been thinking of her grandchildren.
Today, I got to spend some time at home with my family. As a parent, you swear you’ve got your kids in sight 24/7. You always hear people say, “I turned away for 2 seconds and then…” Well, now I get it. This Memorial Day a personal nightmare was realized. The last few months I’ve been taking my 4 year old son, Noah, to the local YMCA to learn to swim. We have an in-ground pool and I think it’s crucial for my kids to learn to swim ASAP. While my son is still learning to swim, I sound like a broken record every time he’s in the yard: “Don’t play by the pool Noah,” “Noah, stay away from the pool, please.” It’s to the point that I feel like my husband rolls his eyes every time I say it.
Well today we were getting ready for a cookout and we all were in the backyard. My husband took Noah, our 4 year old, fishing yesterday and he had the time of his life. While preparing for guests, Noah decided to go “fishing” in the pool. I said to my husband, once again, “I hate him playing by the pool.” But I let him and went to the kitchen to get something, leaving Noah in the yard with his nanny. A few minutes passed and I heard my son and our nanny walking in, the nanny saying, “ok, let’s go change your clothes.” What happened the two minutes I was in the kitchen? Our 4 year old fell into the pool. He was in for a split second when our nanny grabbed him (we never allow the kids in the yard unattended). When she brought him in, he was sad. I reminded him, “When I tell you things, it’s to teach you or to keep you safe. No more playing by the pool.” Well, he learned THAT lesson today, hopefully.
I started this story telling you about my mom because the very words she spoke just this morning to me before I left were, “Are the babies safe?” When all of the terror and panic left my system I had a crazy thought. In a weird crazy way, my mother saved our son’s life. The pool should have been opened 2 weeks ago. We were on the schedule but the pool company couldn’t get in touch with my mother to confirm, so we were pushed back to the end of the month. Thankfully, the pool is not open. It has a netted cover on it that allowed Noah to fall only so deep into the pool. He has swim class today, and for some reason, I think he may pay closer attention to his teacher. I am grateful for the folks we have around our family. All of us watch out for each other, and for that I am blessed.
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