He Let Me Keep Liam

The past few nights Josh has had nightmares that the boys are in danger and he can’t save them. He can’t rescue them. This morning I took my boys swimming with some friends. On my way out the door Josh said, “Hey, don’t let my kids drown.” I laughed and said he was weird and he said, “But seriously, don’t let them drown.” Well, I almost did.

Liam and Asher don’t know how to swim so they wear the little arm floaties. They swam and swam and then we got out for lunch. We were eating at a table beside the pool and Liam asked if he could take his floaties off to eat. I took them off and stood directly over him, hovering while he and Asher ate.

I have a huge fear that one of my children will drown. When I was in the first grade in Zimbabwe, my whole class went swimming one day. All the kids were in the pool with the teachers all around. When it was time to go, the kids got out of the pool and there, at the bottom of the pool was one of my 6 year old classmates. His name was Darling. I will never forget his name. He drowned right in front of everyone’s eyes. Anyway, I know how easy it is for a child to drown. I feel like I’m overly cautious with my boys around water.

Well, we were eating lunch and I was talking to Liam. I looked up and started talking to my friend. Sometime during the conversation I happened to glance at the pool and there, under the water was Liam. His eyes were wide open, staring at me and he was struggling with all his might to get back to the steps. He looked so terrified. I ran and jumped in and scooped him up and thank goodness he was fine and hadn’t inhaled any water. I could not believe I let that happen. Stupid, stupid me. I took his floaties off for lunch and could have lost him just like that.

For all of you Moms with living children and future children- don’t let your kids (especially little ones) out of your sight around water. Liam slipped right out from under me and when he stepped into the water there wasn’t even a splash. Complete silence. When I looked up, the surface of the water was completely unbroken and totally calm. When somebody drowns it’s silent. A lot of times I can listen to my kids in the next room and tell if they’re ok or not. Don’t trust your ears when you’re around water. Use your eyes. Find your babies with your eyes again and again and again.

God allowed Lucy to slip away, but today He let me keep my Liam and I am so thankful. I’m so thankful He has given me more days with my biggest boy. I’m thankful He nudged me to look up and see my son under the water. Liam’s life is a beautiful gift God has given me today. I praise Him and thank Him for this sweet mercy.

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9 thoughts on “He Let Me Keep Liam

  1. Oh, Bethany, this just make my eyes burn with tears. My husband and I are huge advocates of kids learning to swim, and being on a swim team to make them extra strong in the water. And we don’t care how good they are at swimming, life jackets are required in dark water (lakes or the bay). I think we have a healthy respect and fear of water, as much as we enjoy being in and around it.

    Our daughter had a similar experience to Lian’s when she was 3 (and my poor husband had a really hard time getting over the “what if’s”). It happens so quickly, with adults just feet away.

    Last year, our youngest (at age 4) had a seizure just seconds after getting out of the pool. I had gone to the bathroom and was in there maybe 1 minute. When I came back out he was on the concrete seizing. What if he had been in or by the water when it happened!? Talk about PTSD… I started having terrible panic attacks soon after that, and still do on occasion.

    Anyhow, praise God your baby boy is safe!

    • Beth, that sounds terrifying! I mean, who ever thinks their kid is going to have a seizure, let alone in or near the pool! That would have been awful. I’m so glad he’s ok. I totally understand the panic attacks!
      I learned to swim when I was three so I always planned on teaching my kids early. I really wanted Liam to learn this summer, but after losing Lucy I barely had enough energy to take him to a few swimming lessons. The only thing he learned how to do was hold his breath under water, which actually did come in handy today.

  2. Praising God that he is ok! Praying that the enemy will not be allowed to attack you with guilt! Looking away for just a moment happens to all of us at one time or another . I know how gripping the fear can be and how the memories of the event can make you physically nauseous. I’m praying for His peace that surpasses all understanding!

  3. Oh my gosh, how scary! Frightening that even though you worry about this and are extra cautious, he still got in a dangerous spot. I will remember this when I get to have kids who go swimming. It is on the news in AZ all the time about kids who have drowned because there are so many pools here. So awful. I’m so glad Liam is okay. It is your turn for blessings and smiles and no more hard things.

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