This morning was a typical Saturday morning: I got up with the kids, we watched some tv, had breakfast, and got ready for swimming. I've mentioned before that Little K is in a parented level so J is in the water with her, and Little J is on his own.
We put Little J in a low-ratio class because he can't swim and we figured it would be safer and better for him with fewer kids per instructor. Before the first lesson J told me to keep eyes on Little J. That day and the past couple of classes I've happily sat in the bleachers watching him in his little class and Little K and J in theirs.
The pool we go to is a small, rectangular one, without a really shallow shallow end. For the little kids they use risers along the side in the shallow end. Little J is either swimming with the instructor or standing on the riser while the instructor works with the other kids in his class.
This morning I watched him happily jumping on the riser, jumping off the edge of the riser, and flailing under the water. The instructor didn't notice. I was running over when a lifeguard (one not teaching) dove in and grabbed him. By the time I got around the pool, J was there and Little J was a crying mess.
J took Little K back to her class and Little J got out of the pool. I took him away from the water and hugged him. He was scared. He wanted to go home. Somehow I kept it together and convinced him to go back in the water and finish his class.
He did. I walked back around the pool to the bleachers and sat down. Then I cried.
I hardly took my eyes off him the rest of the class and hoped my eyes weren't too puffy or my face too red by the end. He's fine and I don't want him to be scared. He's said a few times today that he tripped at swimming. For a lot of situations I talk to the kids about what happened and what we should do next time, but I'm not sure what to say about this.
It was scary but he's fine. It may or may not happen again, but I saw how quickly everyone responded and I saw him smiling and playing for the rest of the lesson. I don't even know if he'll remember it next week, in a few years..
I do know that what I saw will replay in my mind over and over. Just like when Little K fell off a firetruck (a fireman caught in inches from the ground), I will see it. It will haunt me.