The kind of moment I hoped would never happen.

It happened.

The moment that I will never forget where my son's life flashed before my eyes. I was seconds away from losing him....

I took the kids swimming....my son and 2 other children who are now like family, ages 7 and 2....

My son didn't want to swim, he just wanted to watch, and throw the balls at us and squirt us with water guns...

My attention was on 3 places at once. I thought I could handle it safely....

Then....I heard a splash.

My son was in the water. He did very well. He was basically swimming on his own! But I saw him take in some water. I got to him in what seemed like forever but was only a couple of seconds. I got to thinking....

What if I hadn't seen him before it was too late? A HUGE wave of guilt came over me and I cry as I type this.

I have to admit.

I thanked God for drawing my attention to him so quickly. A couple of seconds later, and....

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Yes Belle, keep on doing what you're doing, because you're a great inspiration to a lot of people. 

I'm interested in your experience re: the staircase analogy (watch the video for those who don't understand).  What was it like?  Was it a mystical-type experience, did you feel superhuman, did time slow down? 

I believe that we can have a calmer, everyday version of this if we just consider other people as we consider ourselves when we act - if we take responsibility for our actions.  This is another way of dissolving ego boundaries. 

I still think it was rooted at least in part in self-esteem issues where somewhere deep down you don't feel you're good enough and so it couldn't be you who were alert enough to save your child, so it must have been some outside force.

Let me ask you this: if your child had drowned, would you have as quickly blamed God? No, I think you would have blamed yourself. Why, because that would fit with that deep down low opinion of yourself.

Unseen, is that just because you know of me to have had low self esteem in the past? Do you assume that any time I doubt a situation that it is rooted in low self esteem?

It's a conjecture, not an assumption.

At the same time, what is your answer: If you reflexively thanked God, would you have blamed him or yourself had your child drowned?

I don't want to let my mind go there, it would not be good for me to try. I don't know that we can predict our response to a tragedy unless it happens any more than I could have guessed my reaction to what did happen.

Don’t be too quick to dismiss the comparison with addiction as being a useless explanation.  Addiction is more than just making bad choices.  It involves changes in brain chemistry and changes in neural pathways, meaning it alters the ability to make choices. 

One way to conceptualize a neural pathway is like the path that gets worn when you take a shortcut across the grass instead of walking around on the sidewalk.  The more times you do it, the deeper and more pronounced the path becomes.  After a while, the existence of the path almost LURES you into taking it; why walk around when a path is there already?  With addiction, the path becomes a rut - almost unavoidable.  It can be avoided with great effort, but every time you walk that way you see the path and have to consciously remind yourself to walk around on the sidewalk.  It takes a long time for the grass to grow back over the path.  You may always be able to tell where the path once was, even after years go by. 

Thought patterns ingrain themselves through repetition.  You see it with addiction, with low self-esteem, with depression and anxiety, with highly specialized occupations, etc.  Why not with religiosity?  Religion is insidious; its tentacles reach into every part of one’s mind.  Even years later, one can still find traces of the old pathways.  

We all have moments of weakness, it happens. Don't worry.

The first thing that was in my mind after reading this Belle was "What did your son learn from his dip ?"
Happy he is safe, for both your sakes.
Regards,
Judith.

Well Judith, despite the feelings I expressed on this blog, in the moment I was amazingly calm and assuring towards him. As I grabbed him into my arms I gave him a hug and said, "You were swimming honey!" And I gave him praise for doing such a great job. Another parent came over, and he helped me lift him out of the pool. I got out with him and held him and we talked about what happened. He kept saying, "I was drowning," and I said, "You were swimming!!! You did so well and I'm so proud of you!!"

He said to me, "I'm never going swimming again!"....I got back in the pool. When my son wasn't anticipating I pulled him in with me. He cried for about 10 seconds but then realized he was safe in my arms, and LOVED it!!! We swam together for a long time. I ended up carrying all 3 children on my back!!! The oldest is 7 and she helped me watch her little brother, but we all had a great time. I made sure to get out of the pool when my son was still enjoying it and having a good time wanting to swim some more.

The feelings and emotions hit me hard that evening...

You sound like a good mom to me.

What Unseen said! :)

Thank you Unseen

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