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?