A Sudden Jolt of Reality

Writing about real life scenarios is one of my favorite things to do. Not only does it produce relatable content, but chances are someone out there in the world has had the exact same experience as me. Whether it’s about parenting our three boys, a story about growing up with two older brothers, marrying your college sweetheart, or settling into a family routine.

Yesterday, as my two older sons participated in group swim lessons at our local YMCA, there was a drill that took place that opened my eyes and immediately transformed my thinking. In the pool there were a little over a dozen kids with 3 separate instructors focused on their group of 4-5 kids. All of a sudden, whistles were blown, splashes were made, and everyone was instructed to get out of the pool.

As focused as I was on my own children, I was equally focused on taking pictures and videos of my kids with my phone. As soon as the lifeguard closest to me blew her whistle and screamed, “Everyone out of the pool,” I went from a slouched spectator into a mama bear on high alert. Is someone really drowning? Where did that lady go that was swimming laps in the far end of the pool? Was this real? Is this a drill? 

Then I saw it. As I saw them pulling something out of the water I noticed it was some sort of training device that the teenaged lifeguards were practicing CPR on. They did it with confidence and some seemed impatient almost as they knew this was only a drill. But I could hear their boss/manager giving them precise details on what to do next.

Then the wisdom overflowed from the instructors. I heard them telling the children, as they watched intently at what was going on at the other side of the pool, “This is practice for the lifeguards. They have to be ready always in case there is a real emergency. They keep practicing. Why? So they can get better. This is why it’s so important to learn how to swim.”

If you’ve made it this far in the story, you may be scratching your head. The point I’m trying to make here is that jolts of reality happen all of the time, whether we are actively looking for them or we are sitting back watching our kids as they learn to float on their backs. Be aware of the life lessons we are observing daily. Some may be worth listening to and some may be to reinforce to our children what will keep them safe in life.


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