Something BIG happened just last week while we were on spring break vacation in Florida. My six year old closed his eyes, held his breath, and jumped. And I was underwater to catch it!
A kid going underwater in a pool may not seem monumental. But we are still amazed, this was a really big deal for us. Our little guy has been afraid of the water. He hated getting his face wet even in the bathtub or shower. We spend much of our time on a lake in the summer, and the rest at a pool. We have tried countless swim lessons and ways to encourage him and nothing has worked. I was actually just looking into private lessons because not knowing how to swim and be safe around water just isn’t an option in our family.
Admittedly, I was also having trouble understanding his fear and distaste for being in the water because I’m a water baby who was swimming before I could walk. My parents had to pull me out of the lake every night at dinner time. There’s no place I’d rather be than on or in the water. Not only did I want N to be safe and unafraid around water, I was desperate for him to experience the fun and joy of swimming and playing in the water.
I’m not sure why he finally did it. All week, we tried every bribe in the book. For the past three years or so, I have been having a blast with my oldest son taking pictures of him underwater. Like me, my oldest figured out how to swim on his own and I have been documenting it ever since. As one final bribe, I told N that if he went underwater, I could finally get a picture of him underwater for our vacation photo book too. That this would be a HUGE goal that he could meet. Still…nothing. He wouldn’t do it.
The day before we were supposed to leave N asked “how many more days left in Florida?” and we said one. And he went under. Just like that! I was in the pool with my camera, and caught it (first pic in this post)! We were all cheering him on, still in shock, and he went under again and again. The switch then flipped. He was jumping in, doing tea parties with C underwater, and even swam across the pool underwater. I had him put on goggles and dive for things. He swam at night. I still can’t believe it.
I’m so glad to have another water baby, finally. Mostly, I’m thrilled that N pushed himself past his fear to see what was on the other side. Something he’ll have to do over and over again in his life.
Now click here to follow me to see what my dear friend Adele has been up to. They have just pulled up stakes in Texas and rolled into the Denver area, big changes are ahead!