For a while now my husband has been making noises to the effect that he would like to take Darwin swimming. The mere thought of it filled me with dread. I cannot swim, and for so very many reasons the idea of going to the pool was just horrifying to me, and deep inside I was worried about the experience for me, my little boy, and (if it was an upsetting experience) my husband. Russell said I could just rest at home, or come along and watch, but oh look at brave ol’ me, in my newly purchased swimsuit, in the water, smiling.
And I was actually smiling, and not just for the camera, because I had the strength to be brave.
I decided to put all my fears (from the water itself to getting my lily-white dimpled backside out in public) aside for the sake of my family. In wanting to be there to help my son be strong and brave and have fun, it forced me to be strong and brave, and oh my goodness did we have fun.
It turns out that my little boy is a Codd by name and nature. He absolutely adored being in the water, and he was so very bold.
On the very first visit we let go of him in the water and let him float a short while. The second time we visited we stood back and let him freely explore the water, which is 4ft deep at even the shallowest end, and he worked out for himself the best way to turn and move in his new environment. Our third visit allowed him the confidence for him to lay on his front and, with his floats, swim. Head up and travelling with body horizontal in the water. He is learning for himself how to best move in the water. He is doing widths of the pool!
Our fourth visit was yesterday, and I had the confidence now to take him to the pool alone, whilst my husband was away on his brother’s pre-wedding stag weekend. Darwin is yet more confident in the water, loves being splashed when other kids jump in, and his is the main source of laughter that rings around the pool. He taught himself to sit in the water in a pike position and then lay out onto his back and barrel roll back around to his front position. As his little nose pokes under the water there have been split second moments of surprise, but he has learned to modify his roll to stop this and has been doing it over and over to test himself.
I’m so, so very proud of him. I’m also proud of myself for being brave enough to give him the space to be brave whilst he is within the safety of our family love.