So many kids, I don't know what to do.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Once Upon a Time

It is summer time and I am reminded of Single Parent Vacation.  This is a vacation sponsored by the church for single parents and their kids. 
I went on the vacation two different summers.

The first time I took part the group was headed to a Dude Ranch in Bandera, Texas.  I got the kids ready and we drove three hours to get there.  We had a blast. We ate roasted marshmallows, and rode horses.  The kids swam in the pool and played horseshoes. There were Bible Studies that I to this day remember as being very valuable to me.  Especially at that time.

One day toward the end of the vacation the activity for the day was a river tubing trip.  You know the type. Tubers sit in an inflatable inner tube and lazily float down the river. No problem. 

I had three kids at the time.  Saige was probably 3, Tanner 5, and Ty 8.  They were adorable.  I embarked on the journey.  There were other families tubing and one nice father of three offered to help us.  I told him I had it under control.  (I sometimes have a slight problem asking for or accepting help.  Unless I need my mom's help.  Then I have no problem at all!  Thanks Mom!) I got Ty and Tanner in their tubes and put Saigie on my lap.  .

We got into the water and started our relaxing float. The group was inching further and further away from us.  I tried to get the kids to paddle a little to catch up, but you can probably figure out how well that worked.  I wasn't to worried. I could still see the group and I felt confident that someone would eventually wait for me.  About ten minute later I heard Tanner hollering from behind me.  He had managed to get stuck on some tree roots sticking out of the bank of the river.  We were getting further and further from him.  I hollered for someone ahead to help me, but no one heard. I hopped out of my tube and swam to Ty.  I placed Saigie on his lap and I hooked my tube to his feet.  I gave him instructions. "Do not move for any reason at all.  Hold your sister.  Do not move." 

I swam against the current and fetched Tanner in probably the only twenty feet of river that was over my head.  I pulled him back to where Ty had floated.  While I was gone Saigie had lost her shoes.  Thank God Ty did exactly what I said and didn't move for any reason.  I rounded up the shoes.  Got Saigie back on my lap and continued to float on.

I didn't think that much about for the rest of the float.  That night I laid in bed and thought about the day.  I was overcome with cold chills.  I had put my baby in the lap of my eight year old and left them?  In a river that was clearly over their heads?  They could have drowned.  Both of them.   I was breathless from the thoughts of what could have happened.

Even now I am wondering.  Why didn't I pull Ty and Saige with me back to get Tanner?  Why weren't they wearing life jackets?  What even made me think going tubing with three young kids was a good idea?

Whew.  I have to stop now, my blood pressure is rising.

Thank you God for protecting less than brilliant parents and their babies!

Do you have an harrowing experiences that keep you up at night?


  1. Us mom's rock at living in the "what-if's". Wish I could be more like my husband and let things go. I have lots of moments that still scare me to this day, but the worst for me happened at the car wash. It was on an incredibly busy street, and I was vaccuming the van. I unbuckled my 3 young boys so I could vacuum their car seats, and thought that the seat was blocking the sliding door opposite me. I vacuumed under a seat, and looked up to see my 2yo's head bobbing up and down outside the van as he ran along side it. My heart literaly stopped, to this day it gives me chills to think about how close he came to running into the street and how stupid of me to not spend the extra dollar so I'd have extra time to go and shut the door.

    ETA- STILL cannot sign into my google account to comment, this is Charity from Surviving a Two Year Old.

  2. WOW - that scared me and I knew everything turned out all right.
    I think part of the problem with being a single mom is that you are so hell bent on doing it yourself, and proving that you don't need help that even when you clearly need help you reject it. That is how I felt...however I had my one I can't imagine doing it with 3!

  3. I can't think of any situations off the top of my head, but I know there are a few in my past. I think we have ALL had those moments of having to make a quick choice we later realize might not have been the best one. You can't go back and undo it, you just have to be grateful that it all turned out okay.

  4. Thankfully nothing yet, but I'm sure there will be times in the future. I'm glad things turned out the way they did!

  5. Who can explain the way we make decisions sometimes in the heat of the moment? It's tough though when we look back and realize that we were actually being careless, so scary.

    Just yesterday I read a post from Kristen at Rage Against The Minivan about how she decided to stop watching her 4 year old so intently at a splash park, which happened to have a hot tub nearby and her daughter was pulled out of the tub by another father....and then Kristen was reprimanded by that father. She was horrified too.

    I know I have had a million tiny moments like this. Not being as careful in a parking lot as I should be, leaving the aisle they are on in a large store, turning my back while we are at the pool...I feel like life as a parent is filled with these moments and thankfully also filled with a lot of God's protection and grace.

  6. Wow! I can't even imagine how stressful it must have been to have been a single parent. For the record, I think you're an amazing mom - the kind I hope to be someday!

    I'm sure all mom's have moments like the one you described.

  7. When we moved to this house, we noticed that the stairs to the basement where just a mere step to the right of the front door. anyone entering our house could easily step to far in that direction and go arse over tea kettle down to our basement. We only had 1 child at that time, and we used gates, so we didn't worry. But it nagged at me constantly that this was an accident just waiting to happen.
    When we renovated our kitchen to make an extra bedroom due to baby #2 arrival - the contractor even said that there was no way it was up to code. Still, we couldn't afford at that time to do anything. People told me to stop worrying so much.
    Well sure enough, one day my son was upset that I told him it was time to come inside from playing. He dashed to the door, openened it and stepped to the right.. too far, and fell backwards down the stairs. He was just over 15 months maybe. I screamed and tried to catch him, but missed and started down the stairs after him. he was just laying there at the bottom, eyes wide open and staring up at the ceiling. no crying, no husband came flying from the bedroom where he was sleeping - guess I was still screaming - and ran down past me and picked him up. As soon as dad moved him, he took a big gasp of breath and started crying. He had the wind knocked out of him, bad, but was otherwise ok. He was back to his old running and playing self in minutes. Me, not so much. It could have ended so badly.

    The stairs were fixed before baby #2 arrived. And never again will I let other people telling me to relax, cause me to fail my children. I am their mother...if I feel something wrong, and I don't take steps to correct? well, who will protect them if their mother won't?

  8. Moments like that are tough... Especially when your brain is so stinken foggy from tough stuff like divorce and being a single parent. I can't even list how many times we had angels watching over us during those times....

    Love this post - gives me much to thankful for.

  9. I think blogger hates me because I can't ever comment anymore! If this works, what I really want to say is that you are brave!!! I can't think of any harrowing experiences...unless you count that I almost ran out of milk. :)

  10. You did what you thought at the moment you had to do and it turned out for the best. Scary, yes. Stupid, no. It is so easy to judge the situation in retrospect.
    Next post should be about what a wonderful mother you are. Pat yourself on the back. I would to it for you if you lived any closer.

  11. You just totally freaked me out with this post.
    Here is a quick story for you. My 6 year old twins are the last to get off the bus in the afternoon. They have had the same driver since starting school. He knows they are there because he complains about how "jumpy" they are. The day before their last day of school, my one comes in. I asked where his brother is. He said he didn't get off the bus. I left my 6 year old alone with my 11 year old(first time doing that) in the house and chased the bus back to the school where they found my Jacob asleep in one of the seats. Talk about being pissed, and scared(me, not Jacob). m.

  12. Sometimes I feel like my entire parenting career has been "what the hell was I thinking!?" kind of days.

  13. We have all made decisions that later made us go....WHAT was I thinking?....but at the time we did the best that we possibly could.

    My most terrifying experience was when my little ones and I took our first vacation together. The youngest was four and loved going to "the big house" - the hotel. While swimming, I was distracted for just a moment, and he was off and gone into the deep end. Thankfully, we got to him before he sucked in too much water, but it's always terrified me as to what could have happened.

    As a single mother, I drove 850 miles to a lovely beach to spend time away with my boys. We loved every minute of it! I so wish we could do that this summer. Three summers we did this and the time away was magical.

  14. Back in the day, when children had walkers with wheels on them that scooted around the room (before they were stationary, like they are now) know - back when I was a mom of little ones - in the dinosaur ages - Aaron was in his walker and I was usually a hover-mother...over protective - the whole bit. But, I had left the basement door open. YOu guessed it - down the stairs he went. He was luckily okay...whew! Luckily, God makes little ones resilient - because we're not so bright sometimes.

  15. Yeesh. I can totally relate.

    And ours was a tubing on the river story too... only I was one of the kids and my sister was pulled under the water. It was a harrowing thing. Goosebumps.

    So glad your kids were safe.


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