You may remember that last summer Morgan Kate took swimming lessons. It was the first week of summer. The lessons were early. It rained every single day, except for the last. The water temperature was crazy cold and the outside air, because of the rain, wasn't much warmer. Oh, and MK doesn't ever do things she's just not ready for. Seriously. When she was younger I fought this a little at first, but I've just come to realize that things (like giving up a bottle, learning to use the potty, or even swimming lessons) work much better for all of us when MK is actually READY to do those things. And when she's ready, she is 110% ready. No turning back. Needless to say, she just wasn't ready for swimming lessons and it was pure torture all week. She screamed, she cried, she ran around the pool. Each morning she begged to let me stay home. One morning she even tried to tell me that she had a fever. Really?!?
This summer I mentioned swimming lessons briefly over dinner one night and based on her reaction I just gave up the fight. I told Travis that we would work with her and maybe, just maybe, next summer she would be up for lessons again.
Since that conversation she's been swimming in a pool three times, third time being this past Monday. Of course she's been in the water (lake, ocean) a lot more than that this summer, but only in a pool three times. The first time she asked if she could take off her puddle jumper and swim to us. We agreed. We were maybe an arm's length away and she did it over and over and over again. She loved it and it really helped boost her confidence. The second time we went swimming she was able to swim a little bit further. And when I say swim, I really mean swim. Face down, hiney up, feet kicking, and arms and hands moving. We were all so proud and literally had to drag her out of the pool.
Then there was Monday.
Monday we went over to Raven's neighborhood pool for some swimming. We hadn't been there very long when MK asked to take off her puddle jumper and try swimming. She started by swimming from the steps to me, again about an arm's length away. The more she did it, the more confidence she gained and the better she got. The better she got, the further away I moved. At one point she asked if she could jump and then swim to me. Without hesitation, I agreed.
My heart was about to explode from being so proud. I'm anxious about her doing a lot of things, but I wasn't anxious about this at all. I was so relaxed and just so proud. I have always loved the water and I love to swim and I think maybe, just maybe, I have passed that on to her.
It goes without saying that I reminded her about three dozen times that while I'm so proud, she has to remember that she is still learning and she must always keep her puddle jumper on. She can only take it off when Mommy or Daddy are around and she must ask first. And she can NEVER take it off at the lake or in the ocean.
Like I said, when she's ready, she's 110% ready. Last summer she would have no part of it and she would cling to us in the water. This summer she's swimming and jumping and doing handstands under the water. Oh.My.Goodness! Heart be still.