Tuesday, July 19, 2011


This past weekend we went on a camping trip! I don't have any pictures because I didn't want to bring my camera and risk losing it, dropping it in the river or breaking it. We had a long drive to the campsite with over an hour of that drive on hilly and very twisty country roads. I started to feel ill and Zoƫ started fussing a lot. I had this feeling she was going to vomit and sure enough she threw up all over herself in the car. Poor little thing! She was fine as soon as we got off those roads.

We set up camp, got our swimsuits on and we were getting ready to go to the water. We were camping near a very small, shallow river. The water was clear and it was cool (ice cold in most parts!). Abigail went down to the water with an adult friend while I rushed to get the rest of our gear together. As we walk up to the water we see the worst thing a mother ever sees - her child drowning.

Our friend didn't know Abigail had followed him out into the water and the river's current was slowly taking her down river. It was a slow current and the water was so shallow (probably up to Abigail's waist in the particular spot she was in) but the rocks were slippery and even us adults had a very hard time keeping our footing.

I must stress to you - drowning is silent. There's no thrashing water, there's no gurgling or cries for help because any time the victim can get up to get air that is all they have time to do; they don't have time or the air to cry out. It is very silent, very quick and absolutely terrifying. You can't take your eyes off your kids. You can't let other people take your kids to water, even if they have their own kids.

My brother-in-law and sister-in-law, who were walking ahead of us, ran to Abigail and saved her as we all noticed at once that she was drowning, even with other adults standing right there in the water. I ran toward the water screaming her name, as did Daniel. She didn't need resuscitation or anything serious. In fact she acted perfectly fine, didn't cry and went back to looking for river rocks. But I was shook up like I've never been shaken up before. I grabbed her and hugged her, looked her over and we sat down together in the shallow water near the shore to gather rocks. I couldn't stop shaking but I couldn't cry either. I think our reaction and redirecting her to looking for rocks helped her to not freak out. I stressed all night about dry drowning (which I had only heard about in passing but judging by that link I didn't need to freak) and checked on her constantly. A person can drown long after they are out of the water.

Our camping trip started off on very rocky ground (no pun intended) but things looked up. I started to relax after the incident. I still watched all kids like a hawk but was able to enjoy being out in nature. The river water was so cool with the weather being so hot! We saw tadpoles, minnows, crawdads and other little creatures.

The next day we went on a float ride down the river. It was a 7-mile trek. The floats are big enough to put a cooler in and several people. It was a blast! My stupid sunscreen didn't work so I got burned being in the sun for hours on end, even with several applications. Our girls LOVED the float! We had an extra oar and they'd all take turns "rowing". We had a few close calls with heavier currents and fallen trees but it was totally part of the fun and no one got hurt. We almost capsized once on a fallen log and a group of people on the shore walked out to help us get free (they broke their canoe on the same log!).  For whatever odd reason that was my favorite part - it was just really adventurous! And again, the water was shallow and kids had life vests on.

We'd get out every so often to eat and swim. The water was ICE COLD. It was so cold it hurt, ha ha! I stuck to the shore because I didn't want to freeze little guy in my belly.

As for the evenings and nights - it was so hot that I was pretty miserable and cranky. If we ever camp in the summer again there will have to be a fan or air source. It is pretty stinking hot out right now!


Kristin said...

Oh my....I bet that was the most terrifying thing ever. It can happen so fast, even with you right there. Once, I was in a tiny above ground pool with my girls and had just turned around for a moment to get a bug out and when I turned back, my daughter was face down in the water because of this floaty suit she had on....it tipped over and she couldn't get herself back up. It was literally only seconds and it happened. I agree with you about not letting others take your kids swimming. I reluctantly let mine go to the beach the other day and I prayed the whole day. It's such a scary thing.

I am so glad that your daughter is okay!!! Praise the Lord!!

The Mommy said...

I often think about things like that happening and it terrifies me to even think about. I'm so glad that she was okay and that everyone had a great time.

Kahla said...

That is so scary, thank God she is OK. Glad ya'll had a good trip in the end.

Kristen said...

That is SO scary! I'm glad Abigail is okay!

I'm not a big fan of camping, but floating the river sounds awesome! I have lots of friends who do it all the time, so it's definitely something I want to try!

*~Chelsea~* said...

How scary!! So glad she's okay!!!

Yeah, I can't camp in the summer anywhere but the mountains, where it's cool in the evenings usually. We're still going to bring a fan. Jeremy laughed and said, "Do you want to bring a flat screen TV as well?" He likes to be a smarty pants. ;)

Glad you had fun overall! Oh, you asked me about sunscreen. Yes, we'e sunscreen experts here because Jer is Norwegian and Swedish and without it (reapplied every 30-40 min) he turns into a lobster and gets 3rd degree burns (no joke, he has had them many times). We prefer Banana Boat for the cream sunscreens and Neutrogena Wet Skin or Neutrogena Cooling Mist for the sprays. The sprays shouldn't last you more than a day for 1 bottle with a family because you have to reapply and you do have to rub the sprays in for even coverage (no matter what the packaging says). We like the west skin one because we're always in the water snorkeling or swimming on beach days, but the cooling one is refreshing and both have kept his very sensitive, WHITE skin from getting burnt when reapplied often. Hope that helps! The regular cream is much more cost effective and Banana Boat is the best, in my opinion - rubs in easiest and protects the best.

Kaye said...

Just got around to reading this. Wow...I know that was terrifying! I am so glad that all was okay and that you were able to enjoy the rest of the trip (and that Abigail wasn't scared the rest of the trip either).

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Kassy said...

Wow! That makes me sick to think of how you must have felt watching your little one nearly drown. Thank God she was okay and you can use this to let others know the real signs of drowning. Other than that, your trip sounds pretty awesome!