29 Jan 2016

That Time I Put My Kid in Danger

We went away the other weekend. We just went to Kiama, about 1.5hrs south of Sydney. We were celebrating hubby and I's seven year wedding anniversary and I was in charge of planning our celebrations, so I decided to go away this year. We took the boys with us cause our regular babysitters (grandparents) all had other plans too. This is one of the annual issues faced when your wedding anniversary is the same or a day apart from your parents and inlaws. 
I choose Kiama cause we wanted to check out Jamberoo with the kids, (a separate post on that later) and it was only 15 minutes away from Kiama. 

During our stay, we also headed out to the famous Hyams Beach, known for its white sand and turquoise water. We've been to this beach before but unfortunately, this time around there was seaweed everywhere. On the sand and along the shoreline making the reputation of this beach almost a lie. 

I like going to the beach. I like to take my boys to the beach. The reason why is because my boys and I suffer from eczema so the salt water helps naturally medicate the inflamed skin. You may not agree but have you ever notice your skin feels and looks so nice after you've been to the beach? Of course to get the full effect of the ocean's natural wonders one must submerge their skin in the salt water for a period of time. You can't just jump in and out of the water. 

My boys don't really like the beach as much as I do right now. I mean they're toddlers they hate anything cold, even now it takes a while for my boys to get use to the feeling of sand under their feet. So I really got to force them in the water by just carrying them in with me. At Hyams Beach, I decided to take Eli into the water. The beach wasn't rough at all. There were waves but only as the water reached the shoreline. There weren't rows of waves after wave, it was actually very pleasant to be in the water, and if you move further out you can actually by pass the crashing waves altogether. So that's where I took Eli and I.

We were standing in water about mid chest deep, soaking in the water. I guess I got distracted and slowly we must've moved closer to the shoreline where the waves were crashing. Any surfer or regular beach goer would notice there's always a bigger wave that builds up after a series of not so big waves. 

I remember something caught my attention. A weird but big ripple, to the left and several metres ahead of me and thought, 'Is that a rip?' I then looked ahead and noticed a big wave was forming. I knew Eli and I wouldn't be able to just ride over this one. I looked at Eli as I held him and said, "You have to hold your breath, we have to go under the water." 

The wave came and I tried to bob down under before the crest of the wave, it but I was too late. The force of the wave took us and we spiralled under water. I felt Eli's body move off me as the force of the wave tried to separate us. I felt Eli's grip around my neck loosen, so I grabbed his body even harder. While under water at this point my fear was I'd lose hold of Eli and, of course, the fear he'd drown. 

As soon as I could touch the ground I stood up with him and headed out of the water. I asked him if he was okay? He said yes. I asked him if he was scared? Cause I bloody was (I didn't tell him that though), he said no. I told him I was so proud of him for listening to my instructions. He's such a brave boy. 

Thank God we were safe and nothing serious happened to us, cause something could. Telling my sister about the incident she shared a story of someone she knew who became paralysed after hitting her head at the bottom of the ocean.

I've learnt my lesson. I'm not going to force my kids to go into the ocean unless they want to, but I will continue to take them to the beach as often as possible. I'm also convinced I need to take my boys to swimming lessons sooner than later. 

Have you had any experiences that have changed your approach to something? 
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