There was a rescue at our community pool the other day. It wasn't particularly dramatic. But it was scary all the same, and I've been thinking about it ever since.
I saw two little girls come in, fairly dancing with excitement as they entered with their grandfather. I noticed him in particular because he moved so slowly and carefully, almost like he was in pain. But he seemed very happy to be with the kids, and they were obviously delighted to be at the pool.
My attention was diverted by own kids, particularly my boy, who is absolutely confident he can go in any depth at the pool. He's had lessons and he can swim, but I would prefer he not go into the way deep without me. So I have to keep a close eye on him.
I was over by our deck chairs, getting some dive sticks, when I heard the lifeguard's authoritative voice. "Are you all right?" she called. I looked up to see her off her chair. Then I saw the the grandfather, standing to the side, looking a little confused.
The guard didn't wait for an answer. She jumped in, pulled out one of the little girls and lifted her to the side. Her grandfather patted her head and told the guard, "She just jumped in. She's supposed to wait for me." The little girl, looking both frightened and embarrassed, burst into tears.
I'm not sure what happened - but I'm guessing the child jumped in not realizing how deep the water was, found herself too far from the ledge, and started to panic.
My heart was pounding, but the grandfather seemed calm. Maybe he was just putting on a calm face for the kids. Or maybe he didn't quite realize what had just happened - I realized later he was very hard of hearing.
I noticed a few moms who knew the girls swam over after the incident and helped watch and play with them. The little girl was soon happy again. The grandfather seemed very grateful for the help with the children.
And I kept an even closer eye on my own.