This week, for the first time in my life, I experienced the feeling of dread and horror.
We went camping with friends on South Stradbroke Island, just off the mainland of the Gold Coast. It was the most beautiful, picturesque campsite right on the waters edge, the kids loved it, it was Elliott’s first time camping.
But, at 4.05am on Saturday morning Mr. G and I woke to a little voice calling ‘Mum, Mum, Mum’. We rolled over to look at Elliott’s bed, it was empty. We sprung from our bed to look at the front of the tent, Elliott was not there. Mr. G unzipped the first tent door in a split second, and then he zipped open the front door to find Elliott standing in the ‘kitchen’ area looking for some milk. In that split second between realising Elliott wasn’t in the tent, to realising he was just outside, I saw a horrible image flash before my eyes, Elliott had drowned.
We couldn’t believe what had just happened, the fact that Elliott unzipped two tent doors and crawled underneath to get out, left us speechless, but really, we shouldn’t have underestimated him. I remember thinking ‘what if we hadn’t heard him, what if we didn’t wake up?’
I felt so guilty, we should have known better, but I was so relieved that everything was OK. I felt very irresponsible, that we didn’t take enough precautions in camping with a 2 year old. We certainly learned our lesson that morning, we realised how quickly and easily things like this can happen.
From that point onwards, we always made sure the zips were right at the top of the tent where Elliott could not get them.