There are certain memories of your childhood that stick with you. I drive down the river road every day after I pick up the girls from my mom's house. Since the weather has turned warmer, the river road has gotten pretty busy - another sign of spring. Today as I drove past the Minnehaha Falls, a childhood memory washed over me. I was in 5th grade and we were on a field trip to the falls. We were all climbing the steep dirt walls down by the creek. When I was running down one of them I couldn't stop and fell into the creek. It must have been this same time of the year as I remember wearing a light jacket and jeans and the water was freezing upon contact. The current was fast, I assume due to the high water from the melted snow - I was swept away. All my years of swimming lessons were lost in that moment, I panicked. I remember gasping for air as the creek kept dragging me under. A man that just happened to be on a walk saw me struggling, he ran ahead of me to the next bridge and put his hand out for me when I reached him - thankfully I was able to hold on. As I think back on that day, I don't know if I ever said Thank You to that man, I wish I could do so now.
Fast forward many years (I wont say how many) my sweet niece Taylor was knee boarding at Duck Lake, I was driving the boat, she fell and was stuck on the knee board - the knee board kept dragging her under the water. I got the boat back to her as fast as I could and when I asked her if she was OK she said no --- I saw that same look of panic in her eyes that I had on that field trip in 5th grade. I believe I was 4 or 5 months pregnant with Alyssa when this happened to Taylor, I didn't think twice, I jumped in the lake to help Taylor.
I am here for my girls now if they ever fall or get hurt. I don't want them to ever feel the way I felt as I was being washed down the creek. But I won't always be with them everyday and I know there will come a time when they feel helpless, I just hope there is someone there to help and comfort them, because they are the most precious things in my life.