What's happening with the Hill family!

Friday, June 25, 2010

I'm no David Hasselhoff

My kids love to swim. Connor has been a fish ever since his first summer on this Earth and in typical Hudson fashion, he wants to be just like his big brother minus the actual swimming skills.

Matt's parents have a great pool and luckily only live about three minutes away so we are over there swimming at least four times a week. Last summer, Mush wasn't even walking so he was pretty content to hang out in a baby float, tooling around the pool working on his tan. This summer, I'm not so lucky. He is fearless. He has quickly developed two new vocabulary words, Jump and Catch. If I hear one of those words, it is usually too late to even think, those words mean that he has already thrown himself off the side of the pool or the diving board and is about to land on my head with a gigantic smile on his face, oblivious to the look of terror in his poor mother's eyes.

So last week, we were spending the morning swimming with some of our very good friends. Jaime has two little ones, Pearce and Camryn, they are five and six and two of Connor's best friends. The three of them are all pretty good swimmers and love jumping off the diving board. Hudson just kind of straggles behind, pretending he is a big kid.

So anyway, back to our morning swim session. All three big kids had jumped off the board and of course little man wanted to give it a try. He has jumped off the board plenty with mom treading water in the deep end and I have never seen him even try to jump without a parent waiting with outstretched arms. This time he climbed up on the diving board with a big grin on his face and yelled, "Mommy!" I was out of the pool, gathering up stuff and looked up to see my tiny little boy standing over the deep end with no adult in arms reach, so I told him to get down. Now. He said, "kay!" and started to climb down off the board. Now, since Hudson's legs are basically two golden tan stumps, he has to really work to climb on and off things. He was about halfway off the board when I noticed that he was not over the concrete like he thought, he was dangling over the water. But he couldn't tell that of course, because of his insane shortness. I started heading that way because I knew at any second he was going to step down into air. I yelled out, "Hudson stop!" which of course, startled him and caused him to drop into the water. I panicked and started to run to him because I could see his little blond head all the way under the water.

I made the split second decision to make a running jump in order to rescue my drowning child and as I am leaping into the air to "save" him, the following thought entered my mind. "What am I doing?" But I was already committed. I landed directly on top of my poor, tiny son and naturally forced him even lower in the water before I yanked him up to the surface. When we came up he coughed a little bit and sputtered out, "I fall?" in a little voice. Well obviously one of us still had our wits about us. The whole ordeal took all of 8 seconds, but the cliche is so true, it was like slow motion and felt like he had been under for an hour (counting the extra time when I pushed him deeper with the force of my body weight). It scared me to death.

After I had calmed down and was retelling this story to Matt he said, "So let me get this straight, instead of leaning over the side to pull him up because he was easily within arms reach you decided to leap in directly on top of him in order to save him." Yes, that sounded right. It wasn't really a conscious decision. I told Matt it wasn't as if I said, "You know, I am going to further traumatize my son by forcing him to watch his giant beast of a mother fall out of the sky and land on top of him while he is bobbing around under water. I just reacted, it was very natural. For those of you that are wondering, there doesn't seem to be any lasting trauma from his ordeal, he was immediately back to jumping into the pool and he hasn't been waking up with recurring nightmares about his mother shoving him under water. At least not yet. But I still say, lives were saved that day and I am taking all the credit I can give myself.

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