LP fell into the pool.
On Monday, which was a Holiday here, we were all outside tending to our new vegetable patch (more on that soon). It is located on the back of our yard, on the other side of our fenced patio, just alongside the pool. Bébé was in her bouncy seat, M and I were planting shoots and seeds. LP was playing around us. All of a sudden, we hear a loud SPLASH!
We were both there, but I was one step closer than M, so I didn't even think. I turned around, shouted, "I'm right here!", and I jumped in. It happened very quickly. I have images of him, clearly in shock, all wet, but his head outside of the water, trying to push and keep himself up with his arms. My thinking that surprisingly, the water wasn't that cold. My grabbing him, handing him out to M with I don't even know what strength. My husband pulling him out of the water and sitting him down. Him wailing, crying, not making much sense, shouting that he wanted the Lego piece he had dropped into the water.
I got out, dripping wet. We were both fully dressed, with shoes and all. I hugged him, held him tight. I was simultaneously hysterical and laughing in spite of myself, which often happens to me when I'm all nerves. M went to grab us big towels in the house. It had lasted seconds, but felt something like a lifetime.
That has always been my worst nightmare. Our pool has always been nothing but a source of problems and worry, a big money pit we can't really get rid of. Just that very morning, my father told me: “With a pool you need to have 100% of your focus on the little one all the time. Not 99% of it 99% of the time, because that’s not enough.” And that freaked the hell out of me, because with the baby and all that accumulated lack of sleep, I, alas, pretty much never have that.
To make matters worse, LP cannot take swimming lessons. The specialist who has been following him since he was a baby for his ear issues has vetoed it, as he vetoes swimming in public pools or lakes. We can let him swim a little in our own pool, but we have to make him wear plugs and be really careful. Last year, we tried to teach him how to swim in our pool anyway, but by the end of the summer we weren’t quite there yet. Fortunately, once he fell, it apparently still came back to him because I could see that he was trying, and when I asked him later he said that it’s exactly what he wanted to do, keep his head out of the water and swim.
After we both calmed down, his little lips trembling, he kept saying: “I couldn’t see anything… All I could see was blue (Je ne voyais que du bleu).” He also kept becoming teary, saying over and over again, wholeheartedly: “Thank you so much mommy, for saving me…!” I didn’t even know what to say, except to hug him and hear my heart break a little, and tell him that it’s exactly what his dad and I were there for.
My body hasn’t yet recovered from the adrenaline shock, all tense and aching. I had trouble sleeping last night, reliving the moment again and again. I know that everything turned out for the better, like we say in French “plus de peur que de mal” (more scared than hurt). But. What if? What if the water hadn't been cleaned yet and was opaque, what if he had fallen into the deep end of the pool, what if we would have been just a little further?
He knew that he wasn't supposed to try to pick up something that had fallen into the pool, but in the moment, without thinking, he did anyway. Is there anything else that he would do like that, despite our clear rules? Run in the street without looking to chase a ball? Go outside without telling us while we're occupied with something else? Leave with a seemingly friendly stranger?
In a way, I also feel strangely relieved. I no choice but to confront this very deep-seated fear of mine, and in the best conditions possible. LP does not appear to be traumatized, but it was scary and unpleasant enough that I think the pool has completely lost its appeal to him now. But.
Once I took off my soaked out clothes, M suddenly remembered something and cursed. "What?" "Your iphone," he said, "I saw it earlier in your pocket". Now obviously I couldn't care less about my iphone when compared to my son, and I wouldn't have done things differently. But. It's dead now. And I do have back-ups (although the most recent is more than a month old), and people who have had to use those told me they're far from perfect and full of holes. Of course it's a stupid gadget, but above and beyond something than allows me to read, watch videos and socialize, it basically contained my whole life. Hundreds of precious pictures and videos of the kids, including F's first moments (these can probably be backed up, fingers crossed). All of our medical appointments. Lists with important data. Lots of notes, on flowers and blog posts and what not. All of the data from my pregnancy, which I don't need but wanted to keep anyway for sentimental reasons (her fetal heartbeat, etc). All my contacts (I don't even know any phone numbers by heart, seriously). The withdrawal is kind of brutal.
It's been sitting in a plastic container with 6 packets of silica gel for the past two days. M takes it out and blow dries it with gentle cool air every day. It looks a little better than it did on Monday, as the moisture is slowly being wicked away. Some people on the Net say they were able to resuscitate theirs after a whole cycle in the washing machine. So all hope is not lost. We'll see.
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
LP fell into the pool.