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