Dave and I plunked down into our lounge chairs and pulled out our latest reads. We took turns chasing after Paige, who at four years old has no fear of large waves or anything else.
Our second grader, Garrett, saw a friend from his old Football team and was off to Bogey board with him. Zach (15) brought a friend along and they along with Samantha (11) and Tyler (13) were having a great time jumping into the waves and swimming in the surf.
I kept looking up every few minutes to see where each of the kids were. At one point we couldn't find Samantha, Zach, and his friend Matt. We finally spotted them, and they were a little farther out than really made me comfortable. I watched them for a while and for some reason they didn't seem to move from the spot they were in.
At this point Dave is down in the water with Paige looking in the direction of the three kids (having the same thoughts I was) when we see a lifeguard boat head in there direction. The boat then seems to pluck someone out of the water and head for the shoreline. We see a young man jump off the boat and head up onto the beach. We then also see Matt, Zach and Samantha on the shore and Samantha seems to be crying.
At this moment I knew. They also had been rescued by the life guard. The lifeguard had thrown them a rope and pulled them to shore.
The reason they had not moved from the same spot in such a long time is that THEY COULDN'T. They were stuck in an under tow (or whatever it is called). Or what Samantha later called it "The Swirling Vortex of Terror".
It seems that Samantha swam out and then got stuck. She kept trying to swim back in but the current kept pulling her back out. She kept fighting the waves but seemed to only stay in the same place. Zachary was able to swim out to her but the current was so strong he couldn't swim himself and help his sister. Matt tried to get out to both of them but couldn't. It was about this time that the life guard figured out they were in some trouble.
They said they had been stuck for about 10 minutes but it felt like much longer. I asked why they didn't start yelling and waving their hands? Well, because they thought they could get out of it themselves.
You see, Samantha and Zach are both very similar in personality. They are both Type A and highly competitive. This similarity causes them to not get along all that well and not a day goes by without the two of them going at it about something. They both say mean things to each other which generally gets them sent to there rooms.
Samantha is sure that Zach really cares not one bit about her or her well being. He has said it to her face a few times. I have told her that they BOTH need to be nicer to each other and that if push came to shove and she was in real danger he would be there for her.
She never believed me.
It seems when Zach figured out his sister was in trouble he swam immediately over to her, getting himself stuck in the process. His friend Matt tried to swim out and help but he couldn't get to them. I find this very interesting. Matt is a big athletic boy standing 6'2". Why is it my 5'8" son was able to reach his sister but his friend couldn't? Was it the adrenaline from sheer fear and panic? Hmm.
I asked the two of them about this later and they just looked at each other and turned away, not wanting to admit to anything. Something special happened between them yesterday. They realized that no matter how much they fight, they really do care about each other, hopefully it was a lesson they will be remembered for a while.
Later in the day when I was walking down the beach with Paige two young men were coming out of the surf talking about the strong pull in the water. I asked them about it. They told me they had a really hard time swimming back and it was very scary. I told them about Samantha and they were amazed she could tread water for that long in the strong current.
This sent a shiver of fear up my spine. I am so thankful for the life guards who were so carefully watching my children and to God for keeping His protective hand upon them. I woke up in the middle of the night thinking about what could have happened. I know I need to let it go. They are OK. As a Mom, that is just really hard to do.
The kids seem no worse for the experience. They were back in the water within 5 minutes.
However, there Dad and I were not reading any more. I for one never took my eyes off the water.
Here are some pictures of our way to exciting day.
Garrett digging for crabs.
Burying Tyler in the sand. All that sand on his face didn't seem to bother him.
Heading out to catch some waves.
A girl and her daddy.