Bubble Boy

4:30pm, Saturday, June 6th, 2015
It’s Summer.  The pools are open.  And this Summer, my son is of an age where the pool grants him a new priveledge: he can go to the pool ALONE.  He’s old enough, according to the HOA, to supervise himself at the pool.  However, his father and I do not exactly agree with that.  As soon as he got that pass, he’s bugged us every. Single. Day. to go to the pool. The pool is not my favorite place to go and part of me is glad that he can go without me.  However, the other part, the bigger, freaked out part, is scared.

Some of his friends from the neighborhood were heading to the pool this afternoon and invited him to come along.  “NOOOOOO!” I screamed inside, but I knew he had to go sometime.  Only one of the other boys was old enough to go alone, like B, so I figured there must be a parent going with the other two, right?  Right?!  But I don’t know the other parents.  I don’t even know these kids!  I see them everyday when B plays with them and they’re all very polite and friendly when they speak to me.  However, some kids can lose their minds in the water.  I’m sure you’ve all seen one of those – splashing everyone in the face repeatedly so their victim can’t catch their breath; jumping up, putting their hands on a person’s head and pushing them under the water; swimming up behind them and pulling their swimsuit down.  But I let him go at 3:40pm.  I’m so worried!  Therefore, I’m typing right now, to keep me from doing a survailence drive-by of the pool.

The hubs is currently 2 hours away at a party and I sure could use him here!  He could sit on me to stop me from going or I could pull out The Obey and tell him to go check on the boy.

I keep thinking about the time that B almost drowned in this same neighborhood pool.  One section is zero-depth entry to 3′ and the other section is 3’6″ on both ends and 3’10” in the middle.  On a day when he was more than a foot shorter than he is today, he wanted to see if he could stand in that 3’10” part of the pool.  He started on one side, I stood at the edge of the other side and he started walking towards me.  You know how you sort of hop from foot to foot when you cross a pool?  You’ll get there faster, if you don’t weigh much, than you would dragging your legs through the water at a walk.  So, he was hopping and happy and getting lower into the water.  Then at the end of a hop the water splashed over his face.  He didn’t fully submerge, and he continued to hop, bobbing up and down, but when he went down, the water surface enveloped his face.  Then it covered his face on the way down.  Then he stopped progressing forward, although he still bobbed up and down.

I got concerned and I called to him if he was OK.  He was not up long enough each time to answer me.  I looked at the lifeguard who was sitting in his chair, right above B, watching him.  You see, we were the only 2 people at the pool besides the lifeguards at this time.  I looked at the lifeguard with this, “Are you gonna DO something?” expression and he just kept looking back and forth between me and B.  I guess he needed me to tell him to go in?!

I jumped in, swam over to B, pulled him up and held him.  “Are you alright?!”  He coughed.  He gasped.  When he caught his breath he said desperately, “Thank you, Mama!  It was too deep!  I couldn’t keep my head above the water long enough to call you.  I opened my mouth to yell ‘help’ but it just filled with water!  Thank you for saving me!”  He had a death grip on my neck and I started to cry.  (In fact, I’m crying right now, reliving it.)

The lifeguard called down, “Is he OK?”  I didn’t answer because I knew nice words would not come out.  But I shot him daggers and all I could think was: no thanks to YOU!

We were the only 2 people at the pool and I had to save my son.  Now, I am worried about him drowning, unnoticed, on a day when 50 – 100 people are at the pool and the lifeguards spend more time watching the teenagers and the hot moms more than the kids.  (I know cuz I’ve watch those lifeguards ever since that day B almost drowned!  And I’m not looking at their abs, either.)

I told B he had to come home when the break whistle is blown at 5:45pm or when his friends left the pool, whichever came first.  I’ve made it halfway and I’m still in the house.  Yeah, me!  OK, back to me and my fears…

Then why, you ask, after telling you this scary story of drowning and lady-watching lifeguards, did I let my son go to this pool without me or his father?  Because he’s growing up.  Because, how will I ever be able to let him go to sleep away camp this Summer if I can’t let him go 2.5 blocks without me?  Because, how will I ever be able to help him move into his college dorm room, take him to dinner, drop him back off in front of his dorm and then drive away without him if I can’t let him go 2.5 blocks without me or his father?  Because how will ever be able to keep a smile on my face and say goodbye to my baby when he and his new bride start their own life together, if I can’t let him go 2.5 blocks to the death pool without me!

I finished typing the last paragraph at 5:01pm.  Then I went to the bathroom to wipe my eyes, blow my nose and reread the last paragraph for grammatical & spelling errors, since it was typed through the blur of tears.

A teeny-weeny part of me let him go, hoping he would lose track of time so I’d have to go down there to get him, worried out of my mind, and then have the pleasure of taking the privilege of going to the pool alone away from him, because he can’t respect my conditions.  ;o)  I know that’s terrible of me, but he is my child!  I grew him!  He is a piece of my heart, walking around in this cruel, scary, dangerous world, and I am allowed to want to keep him in a bubble!  I just can’t actually keep him in a bubble.

I only have half an hour left until he has to pack up and come home.  Thank you for being here!  I’m glad I chose this outlet instead of being Piper’s Mom from New Year’s Eve (one of my FAVS!  If you haven’t seen this movie, do!)

B misunderstood when I said he was to head home after the 5:45pm break whistle was blown; he thought he had to be home at 5:45pm and he was home at 5:44pm. :o) He had a blast!  He ate the sandwich I packed him.  They all stayed together and played nicely.  He swears the lifeguards did not blow the whistle at them at all.  ;o)  But, no parents went with them!!!  B and one other boy were old enough to go alone but the two remaining boys were not and their parents let them go to the pool alone anyway.  The lifeguards didn’t check any of their passes when they walked in!  *sigh*

I’m not fighting that battle today, though.  My son had a great time and came home safely.

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