If this week is any indication of how life will be when my kids leave home I'm going to have to duct tape them to the walls and never let them out of my sight.
This theory doesn't really hold water, though, because, strictly speaking, we still have one at home. And, he is the cause of the most recent drama. Yesterday the four year old took a dive in the deep end of the pool. Literally. Do you ever have that dream where you are trying to run and scream but your feet won't move and you can't make a sound? That's how it played out in real life.
Here's how it happened. After a brief rest at the side of the pool we decided to get back in. The four year got out ahead of me far enough that he couldn't hear my cautioning yell not to run. Since he's so small apparently he escaped the notice of the lifeguards. Well, instead of stopping at the ladder to the shallow end, where he had been jumping in, he continued on to the ladder at the deep end. And jumped. Lots of things happened then, not all of which I was aware of. I had cut across the pool because at some point I could sense what was going to happen but it's hard to walk very fast through water, you know. When I saw what I thought was going to happen, actually happen, I proceeded to run and then to dive, thinking that to swim to him was the faster course of action. At some point between my frantic run/dive the lifeguards must have taken notice and blown the airhorn signaling trouble. Well, I beat the lifeguards to him but when I got there he wasn't floating under the water as I had feared but had made it to the ladder and was climbing out all by himself, panicked but completely conscious. Shortly after I came up out of the water I was surrounded by lifeguards and the pool was empty. What a weird, surreal feeling.
Egads! I don't want to relive that one. I was super proud of him for having made it to the ladder and basically saving himself but, Oh man, the space between going under and getting out felt like a lifetime. I'll bet it shaved a few years off my life, and as an older parent I can't really afford that.
Now I have a few (probably unnecessary) comments to add. The whole time leading up to and during this incident I had my eyes glued to the four year old. Glued I tell you. And yet I was constantly observing behaviour by the kids playing near him that demonstrated clearly that their parent or caregiver was otherwise occupied. Playing the what if game, as I am wont to do, what if I had been otherwise engaged at that crucial moment. Ugh, I can't bear the thought. Just makes me think.