Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Lessening The Helicopter Momosity

Today, we attended a fun birthday party at a local community pool. Reese had a complete blast for 4 hours straight, and Mommy tried so hard to sit on my hands...

I have a tendency to Helicopter Mom fashion.

Being around water with a bunch of other kids often makes this Mama very nervous. So many "what-ifs" run through my head.

What if he gets somewhere he can't touch? What if he gets stuck underwater by another child? What if I lose him from sight for two seconds and he is taken away by a child molester? What if he throws up in the pool because he swallowed water & needs my help?

I know...I know. Extreme stuff some of it.

So my tendency in public places, and especially water parks, is to hover.

First few times down the water slide today? This Mama was right at the bottom, making sure Reese knew where to swim to find the steps & get out.

Playing football in the pool with the "big kids?" I was terrified he would get pulled under the water, innocently of course, and panic or not be able to get back to the surface.

So I kept a vigilant eye on Reese, but tried to do it from a little further away. Far enough where he could play without knowing Mommy was on the edge of the pool.

While Tammy & I were sitting in chairs (that we had moved to the edge of the pool so we could see the kids better :) we noticed that Reese had made it out to a deep part of the pool. See, the pool is shaped like the letter L, and each end of the letter are shallow. The corner though is deep...the water goes over Reese's head.

He made it out to the middle of the corner area & began to panic. He started swimming towards one edge, turned to swim to another edge, turned to swim to a third edge. Tammy said "He's swimming in circles..." and he was and was in trouble. His head was above the water, but it was obvious he was second guessing himself and didn't know where to go.

I went to the closest edge to Reese, hollered his name, & had him swim to me. I noticed two lifeguards watching him like a hawk, which I was thankful for. They would have to race me though if Reese needed help!

Luckily, Reese made it to the edge himself. He broke down in tears once his hand hit the side. It was really hard to stay on the edge and wait for him to reach me. Much more swimming and he would have needed help. But I wanted him to know he could safely get himself out of this pickle.

And he did.

But there were sure big hugs from Mama once he got out.

So I will continue to hover, but from a little farther away. Because you just never know when he'll need me!

I sure was proud of him for not panicking though....


Chandra said...

I'm a TOTAL helicopter parent, but especially at the pool. I'm still at the stage where I have to be IN the water with her.

texasholly said...

What a sweetie. He really did hang in with the bigger kids during the football game. So glad that there were several eyes on him. YOU DID good!