splashes and saviors

It happened so fast, it was slow motion. Every split second of it still pounds fresh in my mind…

Grandpa and Grandma were visiting for the weekend, as we were celebrating our oldest daughters’ birthday. She turned five this past week (whoa.), and so we found ourselves swimming at the hotel pool where my parents were staying. Usually that means our oldest (Addie) has swimming wings, our 3 year old (Sophie) has a ring with leg-holes, and our 2 year old (Ruby) is being carried around the pool. But this time, the ring with leg-holes recently sprung a leak, and so we were using a cheap drugstore supplement. Sophie used a regular ring (no leg-holes) on Thursday and Friday without issue. Gradually as she gained confidence at staying in the ring, we gained confidence in her as well.

Then it happened. I had wandered to the other side of the pool with Ruby, Addie was doing fine with her water wings, and Sophie was on the steps with her ring around her. But Sophie has developed a dare-devil side. She wanted to “make a wave” like she’d seen daddy do earlier. Thankfully, my wife (Sarah) was heading toward the entrance to the pool at that moment, and my dad was walking near the edge by the entrance. Compiling sources, here is a brief recount of what followed..

Sophie crouched down like a frog about to leap from one of the steps, and jumped forward into the water. Her ring did not go as fast as her body, and she flipped forward in the water. I heard Sarah scream and everyone was moving quickly toward these two legs sticking out of a ring in the water. Holding Ruby close, I jumped into action, but running through 4 feet of water isn’t very quick. I yelled out to my dad, who happened to be right next to the pool where Sophie was, and he looked down, quickly knowing what to do. He grabbed her by the ankle, and hoisted our crying baby girl out of the water. She cried a minute, and was fine (more than we were) after that.

So as I offer Him this moment, how can God use this to help me grow as a parent? I realize the truth that I may not always be the “savior” for my children. I depend on other loving relationships that are close to her, to watch for when she begins to sink. I trust that others are capable of loving/caring for her in difficult moments. It won’t always be easy, but it is necessary. If I’d yelled to my dad, “Back off! I’m her father, and I will get her out of the water!!”, it may have taken too long. I pray that when the moment comes, I will be as thankful as I am from yesterday’s event…

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