Monday, July 11, 2005

Made Me Stop and Think

I took my girl and my nephew to the outdoor city pool again today. I had planned on digging in to the newest freelance job that just came my way, but it was hot and sunny and the girl was bored so I decided to play summer angel of mercy and rescue her and her cousin from the stay at home summertime blues.
The pool, as usual, was undisappintingly refreshing and I spent more time in with the kids than I had before. There were the usual batallions of day campers there. I noticed some very young boys going off the high diving board and wondered if that was really okay. Turned out for one little boy not to be. He was little. I'd say five or six years old with a crew cut. I saw him spring up from the board and turn in a perfect little circle over the board. Then I saw the board vibrate as it grazed the back of his skull.
Neither of the life guards at that end of the pool did anything. I saw one look at the other questioningly and hold out his red flotation device as though he were about to jump in. Then he sat back down in his chair. The little boy made it out of the pool by himself. I saw him holding the back of his head. He wasn't bleeding or anything, but he hit hard enough that he could have gotten a concussion. A couple of his camp counselors and a female life guard went over to him and then then led him to the side of the pool where they had him lie down and keep still. The rest of the kids in his day camp left. About ten minutes later the EMTs showed up. They braced his neck, then moved him onto a flat board and a big heavy duty stretcher. His limbs were all strapped down and his head and neck were held in plastic braces. My girl and my nephew said they heard him crying as they wheeled him out. I saw one of the female pool staff rubbing his arm to try to console him. It must have been really scary.
My guess is that the EMTs were called in as a precautionary measure since the accident happened at a public facility and he was attending a camp so his parents were not around. They probably have to be very careful to make sure they do everything they can to avoid being held liable. The whole thing made me grateful that I never had to put my girl in day camp as a means of day care during the summer. Working a school year teacher's schedule and freelancing from home definitely has its advantages.
One other odd thing that happened is that a mother and daughter who, along with their husband/father, are very good friends with my ex and presumably my girl were at the pool today and neither of them really acknowledged her. My girl made a couple of half hearted attempts to wave and smile at them but she was too shy to go over and said hi. She said she thought the other girl smiled at her, but she wasn't sure. I found this weird because my girl has told me a lot of times about going to dinner at their house and how much fun she has with them. I've only met them once or twice and that was about 4 years ago. I may be over analyzing, but I felt bad that it seemed like my girl was ignored by people she considers her friends because she was out with me and not her father.

1 comment:

MomOf2 said...

Wow? It seems the lifeguards were less than hasty in reacting. That kind of stuff scares the sh*t out of me. I thank God my kids are home with me this summer. The older they get, the more I fear freaky accidents like this happening.
I'm sorry for your girl, and how awkward that must have been for her. My kids have dealt with this situation in the past with what I thought were 'mutual' friends of my ex and I. It makes you come to realize you're the enemy. So sad.