We met Sandy, Chloe, and Charley on friday at the Edmonds ferry to pick up Chloe for the weekend. We thought a walk on the beach would be fun and then maybe lunch at a café. The boys had a blast throwing rocks in the water and finding shells. I took a bunch of photos of the boys (below) having a great time.

      The boys then decided it would be fun to run into the water. They ran in, ran back out, laughing and giggling. They ran in, ran out again. One more time, but this time Gavin fell. He pushed himself up a bit and it looked like he was going to stand. But then he fell again. He pushed himself up and I encouraged him to stand, but he fell again. And this time he floated. Face down. I was in the water in probably 2-3 seconds after seeing him like that (he was about three to four feet away from me), I grabbed him up by his shirt and he immediately screamed and cried. He didn’t cough at all, so I am pretty sure he was holding his breath, but I will never. ever. EVER. get that image of him floating face down out of my head.

      I am thankful. I am thankful I was right there at that moment, because when the boys started running into the water I was up a little ways on the beach and not as close. I am thankful Gavin is totally fine. A little scared, but totally fine. Apparently kids naturally hold their breath when they get into the water. And I will be calling today to get my kids in swim lessons – something that I have been meaning to do and just haven’t yet. I am thankful I have the opportunity to correct that.

      So today, please give your kids an extra hug and hold them a little tighter. It was so sobering to be reminded that things can always change in an instant. And I am so thankful that they didn’t.

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      Donna Louise Weber Halbert Butler

      Had a similar moment with Jeremy at Sunrise beach at about the same age as Gavin. Just ten feet away and it IS terrifying. Even when they can swim, they can’t always get their head up, so your vigilance is still there.

      Oh, Lisa, thank goodness you were right there. Swim lessons are definitely a good idea. Glad everyone is okay (including you!)

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