Thursday, March 29, 2012

Our 5 minutes of fame

Two summers ago, my oldest 2 daughters saved the life of my, then, 5 year old nephew.  There had been a family get together at my uncle's house.  Several of the children, and I assume (I was not there that day), a few adults, were playing in the in-ground pool.  Once the food was ready, the kids were called to get out of the pool to eat.  My girls asked my husband if they could go down the slide one more time each and he agreed.  He then took our younger two kids into the house to get them dressed.  The other adults also were tending to their children.  My nephew re-entered the pool unnoticed.  He did not know how to swim and found himself with water over his head and unable to reach the bottom of the pool.  At this point, my girls (they were 7 and 9 at the time) turned to get out of the pool.  They noticed something in the water and then noticed my nephew's fingers breaking through the surface of the water.  They immediately realized it was their cousin and without hesitation, they each dove under and took an arm, pulling him into shallower water and eventually from the pool.  My girls never panicked and they did not lose precious time waiting for an adult to arrive.  They saw an emergency and knew they could do something to help and they did it.  I could not be more proud of them.  I am also extremely grateful to our local YMCA, that had offered a program every spring called Splash Week.  Up until that point, Splash Week was the only swimming instructions my girls had received.  We did not have a pool for them to regularly swim in, so I can only attribute their swimming skills and confidence in the water to the lessons they had at Splash Week.

After this incident occurred, I wrote a letter of gratitude to our YMCA.  As they were promoting Splash Week this year, they alerted the media to our story and this morning, we were invited to be a part of the morning newscast.  I brought both girls with me, but upon arriving, we learned that only one of them, due to space, was going to be able to be on air.  The girls decided among themselves that Yasmin would go on air, and Chloe did her best to not show her disappointment.  However, as it got closer to air time, I could see Chloe growing more and more disappointed until she was in tears.  It broke my heart, but I was so proud of her strength and how well she held up.  After we got home, my sister called and invited Chloe over for some one-on-one time, which really helped lift Chloe's spirit and allowed me to let Yasmin know how proud I was of how she did with the interview, without feeling like I was rubbing it in Chloe's face.  The events at the news station aside, I could not be more proud, or grateful, for what my girls did that day in the pool.  They showed courage and confidence and, best of all, allowed us all the continue to enjoy the beautiful smile of my nephew.

Here is the video of our segment on the news this morning:

 If the video is not showing up for you, here is the link: 

PS- Please note, I am aware that this may appear to be an opportunity to judge the adults who were at this event. Neither myself, nor my sister (the mother of my nephew) were in attendance. The parents who were there were attending to the needs of other children when my nephew snuck away. ANy parent knows that this is something that children do. This was an accident that, fortunately, had a happy ending. Everyone is aware of what could have happened and lessons were learned by all involved. While I usually will publish all comments (with the exception of spam), I will not be publishing any judgmental comments to this post. Thank you for understanding.

1 comment:

  1. What an amazing story. Proud of your girls! I've seen children go under right next to an adult who was trying to be attentive and watch several children at once. It happens so quickly and so easily. Having older children who are well-trained is a good way to avoid a disaster. We were once at a park with family when my 4yo daughter, without me seeing (someone else was supposed to be watching her at the time), started getting help from a strange man on the monkey bars. My 8yo son immediately walked up to him and asked him to please put his sister down as they were not allowed to talk to strangers, and then he brought her with him to come get me. We try as parents to keep our eyes on our children 100% of the time, but sometimes we fail, and training them to help themselves and each other is our crucial backup. Your video is not showing up here, but I'm sure your daughter did a wonderful job. Kudos! :)