Driving home from the pool club, Elysha and I were debating the proper age to allow a child to play in a pool without supervision.
With multiple lifeguards on duty, I had no problem allowing our five year-old daughter to play in the three-foot section of the pool without my watchful eyes glued to her.
Elysha vehemently disagreed.
I explained that if we were swimming in a lake, I would be far more cautious, since people can easily slip below the water unseen. But in a crystal clear, well supervised pool like the one we had just been swimming in, I would not be worried. As a former lifeguard, I trusted the men and women in the chairs to keep my daughter safe, and I know how easy it is to spot a child in trouble.
The hands-off, laissez-faire way that I was raised as a child might also play a role in my opinion.
Elysha challenged my position, arguing that it simply wasn’t safe at Clara’s age to swim alone.
When I asked when it would be safe to allow our daughter to swim without parental supervision, she said, “I don’t know. But not at five years-old.”
We weren’t fighting. We hadn’t raised our voices, and neither of us was angry. We were simply debating. Challenging each other’s positions. Discussing safety in an admittedly dangerous environment. Hopefully finding some common ground.
Then from the backseat came the voice of our daughter.
“Guys, I don’t think I want to hear any of this. Can you stop talking?”
Turns out that Clara was the smartest person in the car at that moment.