On Your Toes

This morning at swimming I was sitting watching the doodle in his class, as I am wont to do, when there was a loud splash very near me. I suppose I should preface this with a bit of a description. The pool where he takes lessons is a kiddie pool with a beach entry. So you can walk down the ramp and the deepest it gets is 3'8" or thereabout. There are stairs into the deep end and that's where the kids sit during lessons waiting their turn to practice the current skill with the instructors. I tend to sit up closer to the beach entry because that's where they start and also because while I want to watch him in his lessons, I don't need to be right there. I suspect that would just distract him and I just don't need to be that parent.

So, I'm sitting there, watching as he bubbles and kicks and scoops the water and *splash*. Loud splash. With a bit of thud at the end.

I think it's the thud, really, that caught my attention.

My head swivels at whiplash speed and I see a child, about the doodle's size, wearing a suit that's similar, if not identical to his, laying motionless at the bottom of the pool with maybe 3" of water above his head.

Indrawn breath, thumping heart, and fast swivel for the lifeguard as me and the other moms sitting all are almost out of our seats.

The lifeguard swoops in (it's shallow, so no dive off the chair - and honestly, I think maybe at this pool they ought to reconsider that chair because it felt like it took her forever to get down and over to this child), grabs the child by the arm and whips it over to the pool deck. With a thud.

At which point we all realize that this is a training dummy and that this was a rescue practice. There are signs all over the pool doors, the locker rooms, and the entry to the rec center that state these practices can happen at any time. I'd just never seen one.

When my heart slowed down, I realized the elapsed time was maybe a minute. But gosh it felt like an hour while it was happening.

And I either need to get the kiddo a different suit, or they need to get a different one for their dummy.

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