Today we went out to Utah Lake for a festival, and while we were waiting in line on a floating dock for a boat tour, my two-year-old Zach suddenly plunked into the water and disappeared. One minute he was sitting on the edge with his feet hanging over, and the next moment he was gone.
If you know Utah Lake, you know that the water is very murky and you can't see down into it much at all. It was fascinating to watch the big, ugly carps rise like ghosts to the surface and eat bread or popcorn before disappearing back down under. You couldn't see their whole bodies even when they came to the surface.
Anyway, when I looked down where Zach had disappeared, all I saw were some bubbles. The water was as thick as the chocolate river in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and Zach was as gone as Augustus Gloop. For all I knew, he could have been gobbled up by a gigantic bottom-dwelling carp.
Of course, Zach's oversized brown-haired head surfaced after only 2-3 seconds, and Sophie tried to reach down and grab his hair. Before I could move the 6-8 feet over to him, a guy sitting next to him reached down and pulled him up. He cried for a bit but then calmed down. He didn't cough up any water or anything.
I joked to the people in line that we all needed to agree on a good story to tell my wife when she got back from waiting in the hot dog line . . .
Another time, while watching the kids swim at our Park City condo, I looked up from a magazine and saw Zach floating face down with his hands flailing. He was wearing a floatation shirt, but his large head had toppled him over and he didn't have any leverage against anything. I remember my chest almost exploded as I ran over to him, but he must have only just toppled over because he didn't suck in any water or anything. Still, it scared the crap out of me. It's one of those memories/fears that sometimes swoop into my mind when I awake in the middle of the night.
Another time, Ann and the little boys had gone home from my work party at Seven Peaks, leaving me and the older kids. I was watching the big-screen movie when a staff member came up to me with a clipboard and asked me to sign a waiver or acknowledgement or something that they had just saved Sophie from drowning in some other pool. Sophie says she was just practicing holding her breath and they jumped in and saved her.
My goal is not to let any of my kids drown. I think I would feel bad if that ever really happened on my watch.