My fingers dug into the silty soil. Desperate, my eyes darted in every direction, hoping to see through the murky water. Out of air I resurfaced and dove again. It had only been minutes, surely there was time. My hand slid outward and I felt it. A leg. I gripped his calf and pulled him through the water, stirring up the sediment under his body. On the shore, I laid him on his back and started compressions. Water spit from his mouth followed by breath.
I dove back in. Deeper. No light. My hands searched the bottom. Having to resurface several times, my lungs were tired. Finally, in the mushy bottom I felt a leg. Quickly I wrapped my arms around his knees, heaving his body towards the shore. On his back I pushed his chest, then breathed in his mouth. Again. Again. A head turn. Water escaped his lips and dripped down his neck. Then breath.
Everyone was there. But no one seemed to notice. Two children. Drowning. My children. If I had not noticed, if I had not been there. They. Would. Have. Drowned.
My heart raced as I shot up out of bed. It was only a dream. An awful, scary, terrifying dream. The pond was so real. The faces of my children laying lifeless on the shore-haunting. The lack of care-alarming.
All day, visions of my children lying without breath flashed through my mind. There were over 50 kids in the water. Where was the responsible adult? Who was watching as my kids sank to the bottom? How many others were never rescued, consumed by the water?
Then I thought about our world. Political agendas. Lies being taught as truth. Religion attacked. Truth squelched. Our kids are growing up in a scary world where Tik Tok reigns and Youtube governs. Manipulation is so easy as media is being infiltrated and personal agendas pushed by the few are colliding with the quietness of the many.
Our kids are drowning. The world is what they watch. What they hear. A screen becomes their closest friend and only social outlet. But when they are depressed, we ask why. When they are lonely, we don’t understand. And when they drift away, we don’t even notice. So, we take them to church. That will fix everything. Two hours a week will surely change their lives. But what’s the greater influence? Who are they going to follow? Two hours once a week or 20+ hours of time spent watching videos, ungoverned online?
We need to open our eyes. Pay attention. Just because everyone else is saying one thing doesn’t make it right. We must teach our kids to think for themselves, not follow a person behind a screen. To stand up for their freedoms and liberties, not cower in fear or intimidation. Our country wasn’t founded on blindly following; our country was founded on fighting for the rights and freedoms that belong to all Americans. Freedom for some should not mean the oppression of the rest.
When I realized my kids were on the bottom, drowning, I knew I had let them down. I had trusted others to teach them the truths of life instead of doing it myself. We as parents only get once chance to do this thing right. Soon, they will be grown and influenced by the world. No matter how hard it is, we must take the time to teach our children right from wrong. We must pass on our faith and share the absolute truths that are being buried in a world of gray. They need to know that it is not a crime to disagree, but we can show them how to agree to disagree and go on living in harmony with their neighbors.
We are the lifeline for our kids. If we don’t teach them, who will? Step up mamas, daddies, and grandparents. Teach them about God. Morals. Values. Integrity. Because if we wait on the world, we let them drown.