Now for the not so great news...For those of you that don't know it, Corolla and the Outer Banks of NC can be prone to strong rip currents and rough waters.
I am deathly afraid of drowning. Me drowning. Someone I know drowning. Anyone drowning. Now, there is a reason for this. When I was 17 our family "beach" trip almost went awry, when a humungous wave knocked me over and toppled me round and around like a pebble in a washing machine. I couldn't tell which way was up or down. I managed to hold my breath just long enough to figure it all out and was okay. Shaken, but okay. It took a long time for me to even think about going swimming in the ocean again, but I managed to do it...later...as an adult :)
There's my background...just so you have an idea of where I'm coming from.
We drove down early Saturday morning to North Carolina. Arriving at the beach by 11:00 a.m. Awesome! Just as planned. We changed into bathing suits, lotioned up and headed down. Hubby went in the Suburban to pick up the umbrella and wait to get into the house we had rented.
Me and the kids were having a great time. Jack (13yrs.) and Finn (9 yrs) are boogie boarding. Dunn (6yrs) and Kelly (3 yrs) are with me on the edge of the ocean jumping waves and having a great time!!
As the little ones and I start walking up the beach, we pass Jack and Finn who wave at us shouting "Hey Mom". Only, as I keep walking past them I realize with fear and terror that they are actually yelling "Help Mom!!!". I start running into the water when my brain yells at me...Hey, you don't know what's wrong (is it a rip current or something else?), you aren't the strongest swimmer, and you're never supposed to go in and try to rescue someone, because more than likely you will all drown. They are asking for my help. I'm there mom. I am the one who is supposed to help them.
I yell at them to hold on! I'm going to get the lifeguard (we were about 70 yards from her chair). The boys were close enough in that I was hoping they were going to make it to where they could touch.
These are also very sparsely populated beaches. Even at 11:00. I took off running up the beach waving my arms, screaming at the top of my lungs "Help, help, help" . No one on the beach is reacting. I only see an old couple and people that are just as far as the lifeguard. I kept turning and checking to see if the boys were still there. Can I just say that was the most frightened I've ever been in my life! I was scared to death that I would turn and not see them. Not see their heads bobbing in the water.
The lifeguard saw me when I was about 10 frickin feet from her. Uh, hello. Waving arms. Screaming for help. I turn around to still (thank God) see my boys heads and run as fast as I can to them. I am booking now!! I run into the water. By this time a man in the ocean has moved over enough to grab Finn's hand and hand him to me. Jack just gets to where he can touch. As I'm getting close to Finn's hand the lifeguard actually turns to me and says "Do you want me to get him?" Uh, yeah.
Finn, Jack and I hold onto each other for dear life, crying!! I'm shaking and crying hold on so tightly!! I thought I was going to lose them. I honestly did. They did too. The fear in their eyes was heartbreaking. Finn kept saying he thought he was going to die. I was so grateful that they were okay.
I found out later that Finn actually was yanking on Jack and pulling him down in the water, asking Jack to save him. So I'm giving props to Jack for keeping his cool enough not to let his brother drown him!
Maybe now's a good time to mention Finn needed rescuing last year, as well.
He was on his boogie board, when he got out past the waves and couldn't get back in. He wasn't out far...he just couldn't get in because when you are floating ON your boogie board you actually will float OVER the waves. I knew he was nervous when I saw him kicking and trying to paddle...to no avail! Luckily, at that time Jack was nearby with a High schooler that they were swimming with and the older boy just grabbed Finn and pulled him in a little closer.
Well, all's well that ends well!