seth falls in pond


Sixteen year old Ethan was recovering from pneumonia and had spent four days on the couch.  On the fifth day, he was finally feeling healthy enough to walk down the hilly front yard to the pond with his fishing pole.  As he sat in the bright sunshine, dressed warmly and wearing his straw hat, his little brother Seth played next to him.  Both boys were on the dock when I walked down with my camera, and their little sister Sarah was playing nearby, too.  She was wearing a warm coat, but was barefoot.  Seth had already dropped his jacket on the ground and was happily pretending to fish with a long, thin stick, wearing a pair of jeans and a thin t-shirt.

Ethan situated himself at the end of the long wooden dock with his feet dangling over the deep green water, and I moved away to the side of the pond in order to take a photo of him.  He looked like the quintessential country boy and I was pleased that he was feeling well enough to be outdoors.  The ice had just melted off the pond a week before and the beautiful water looked irresistible to the young fishermen.

Seth decided to leave the dock and take his “fishing pole” to a large, slopping rock.  He was now perfectly placed between Ethan and myself.  He squatted down with his little bare feet, in order to drop the end of his stick into the water.


I took another picture or two and all was well.  What a lovely moment of a beautiful day.  I began to smile and dream about sitting down and putting my feet up.

Just then, we heard a quick sliding and a splash.  Ethan and I both turned to look and realized immediately that Seth had lost his footing and slipped into the deep water.  We hesitated for a second, it had happened so fast and we wondered if he could simply touch bottom and pull himself out.  Our boy Seth’s eyes were huge as he gasped.  His little hands were paddling the water as fast as they could go.  Ethan I both realized at once that he needed help.  We ran to the edge and Ethan stepped into the water and leaned over to offer his arm to Seth.  I had my long scarf in my hands to use, as well.

Seth was entirely submerged in freezing water, with only his head above it.  The look on his face was so sad, he looked scared to death (a look I never see on his face no matter what dangerous thing he’s doing… is usually a look of great delight).  He made pitiful distress noises as he grabbed Ethan’s arm and allowed himself to be pulled up and out.

“Seth, Seth! Run up to the house and dry off!  You need different clothes on!”

I took his hand and together we ran to the house.  I think he was in shock because he started to cry about his shirt and saying it would “dry in the sun”.

We ran through the front door and up the stairs.   I took his soaked clothes off as quickly as I could and wrapped him in two towels.  His teeth were chattering but he wanted to know what was wrong.  Why didn’t he go anywhere while his arms were swimming so fast in the water?  Why couldn’t he swim when “he was five now”?  It was mind boggling to him.

“I’m never going on that rock again!”

In utter relief that he was okay, I got the giggles as I worked his dry clothes onto him.

“Mom, why do you keep laughing?”

(Why indeed?)

“I’m just so happy you’re okay!”

“I’m glad I’m okay, too.  I don’t want to die.  I wonder what it will feel like to die.”

“I should have taken a picture of you in the water,” I teased.


It took me two hours to recover from it all….as I imagined what would have happened if we were not right there when he fell into the water that was so very deep and over his head.  I have to believe it was all for the best.  Seth lives adventurously (recklessly) so I am of the opinion that God allowed this to happen to teach him an important lesson.   A little fear would do him good.

Every spring I make a note of the first child to go swimming in the pond.  Today marks The Day and for the first time Seth gets the honor:  April 10, 2014.  He said the water “was cold”.

As for Ethan,  after catching nothing but his brother from the pond, he went back inside the warm and quiet house.  He took off his hat and pulled his boots off,  letting them hit the floor.  I warmed up the corn bag and gave it to him, and he drifted off back to sleep on the couch.

We were only outside for 20 minutes.


(the rescuer, sleeping with the warm cornbag on his chest)

16 thoughts on “seth falls in pond

  1. Oh, wow! When this came in my email, I was going to wait until the end of my workday in the office to read it, but when I saw the title, I couldn’t let it wait. 🙂 I am so glad everyone is okay.

  2. Awwww! I fell in the lake once. Elementary school, nightgown and a purse. My best friend was standing beside me…
    poor baby wanted to know why he couldn’t swim? Aww im soo glad you were there!;)
    Alot can happen in 20 minutes, I know! Lol.

  3. That first shot is a magnificent Tom Sawyer shot of Ethan. I’m glad he was there, and glad that Seth is ok! It doesn’t take much to be a hero!

  4. What a relief he is okay. But I hear ya’ on getting a little fear. For some children they need it don’t they?! He’s such a cutie too.

    What a comfort to have a Mama to tend to “littles” and “bigs” when they need you. A warm blanket, hot corn bag….comfort, love and care~ So sweet 🙂

    Such a lovely day at your home, near the pond. I love the pond pictures as it’s just so pretty. And Ethan does look very Tom Sawyer-ish.

    Have a wonderful wknd~ Cinnamon

  5. So glad everyone is okay! I can feel your panic! When Elijah fell out of the tree, oh man, there’s no panic like mother panic!

  6. I’m so glad Seth is okay!

    Shanda, here I’ve been thinking you were still on ‘vacation’, taking a break from blogging, because I hadn’t seen any posts from you. My feed reader just downloaded 9 posts! All of my other blogs I follow have been downloading. I’m so sorry. I look forward to your blog posts so much! I haven’t been neglecting them on purpose.

  7. I’ve often wondered how you can raise 7 children near a pond and not have any worries about the littles going in alone. Do you have certain rules about it, or is the pond far enough away that they just don’t do it, or do you simply watch them like a mama hawk?

  8. so glad Seth is well, and a bit shaken. You probably had your adrenaline pumping, so no wonder you are left shaking. That 20 min. sure was filled up with adventure. Great pictures of the sunny beauty and country kids. So good to hear E is feeling better, though obviously still healing.

  9. Wow how scary for everyone! Thankful for the tender Mercies of The Lord in this whole situation. I am sure Seth will never forget what happened and it will in the long run be good for hm..lesson learned. God is good to us.

  10. You have to be afraid. God protected this child!
    thank you Lord
    Seeing your photos, I had already thought of the danger that could happen with this pond no close to your house
    grandparents have a pool and we asked that it be fenced
    I hope the little Seth will not keep too bad memory, it will become careful in the future
    God bless you Shanda and all your family

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