I’m not much of a softy but Annie has been melting my heart over the last few weeks. I’m sure all you parents out there will understand, and all the non-parents will just hear “blah blah blah” but (as cliche as it sounds) watching your kid learn to swim has been one of the best experiences in my life. I think watching them lean to ski is similar, although I wouldn’t know!

Last year Annie was very scared of the water. She was affectionately referred to as “The Spider Monkey” in the water. I decided she needed to learn to swim, I put her in lessons and that was a total disaster. Major setbacks happened, and big phobias of the water developed from those stupid lessons. I pulled her out of them because I spent them balling my eyes out on the sideline as she screamed for her mommy like someone was trying to kill her. Panic screams.

I was worried that she would grow up with my water issues. I even thought that maybe my water issues were genetic. Troy and I talked at length about it and he said he would teach her to swim, a task I was skeptical about. But in Troy’s loving, gentle, and patient way he has slowly taught her about all the fun things she can do in the water.

This year we have a whole new kid. We broke down and bought her water wings (I was afraid she would get too attached to them). WHOLE NEW KID. She was suddenly a little fish in the water. Once our apartment pool opened we took her everyday, sometimes 3 times a day and it’s been great to see her develop independence and a bold attitude all by herself. I truly believe that things are easier with Annie when we wait until she is ready.

Today Annie (all on her own) decided her water wings where a thing of the past. She wanted them off and swam around for 90 minutes without them. Our pool is 3-4 feet deeps so she can touch in most places but this was a huge step. She is now jumping in off the side (more like running and leaping). She’s holding her breath underwater, diving under, kicking while diving under, floating on back and front, pushing off the side, doing the “torpedo”, and talking underwater (yes, she talks incessantly…wonder where she got that from…not Troy).

I think by the end of this summer we are going to have a swimmer on our hands!

Here she is a few days ago jumping off the edge with her floaties on.

And then today, off came the floaties, and on went the goggles, and this girl was deep water bound.

Seriously, I totally get that kids swim everyday, but watching Annie do this stuff just makes me smile from ear to ear.

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  1. Sonja-

    My little girl Peyton is the same way. She just turned for, but screams and cries anytime we try to get her to swim. I hated swimming when I was a kid and still have a phobia of the indoor pool in Tehachapi. Even the smell freaks me out. I was thinking the same thing that it may be genetic? My little boy is one, and a lot like his dad. We took him to the pool and he is fearless. I was thinking the same thing with Peyton we just need to submerge into swimming as much as we can. I am glad it worked with Annie…it gives me hope.


  2. That is cool. Even just watching my little 5 month old nephew get bigger and bigger is amazing to me.

    Every time you post pictures of Annie I think of that “Boys like me because I’m pretty!” comment and laugh a little to myself. That girl is too funny.

  3. Sooooo cool. Watching your kiddo swim is flat out AMAZING. My daughter is now on swim team and I am constantly blown away watching her. I’m pretty sure at 7 she can already kick my ass at 2 different strokes! 😉

  4. Way to go Annie!!!!! Love the pictures!! Can’t wait to hear her tell about the experience. Tell her HI! for me and enjoy being a “little fish”.

  5. Sonja – I can totally relate to this post because Andrew just learned to swim and it has been a neat experience for me as well.

    Today he swam the length of our neighborhood pool (25 yards) several times! This is a HUGE improvement since Memorial Day weekend, when we think the light bulb went off and he figured out the whole swimming thing.

    Go get’em, Annie!

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