I learned “Sometimes I have to look below the surface”

I am mom..

Yesterday during the one visit a week I have with my daughter (at the pool). I realized that I have the natural instinct to “save” my daughter when she is in distress. I think it’s pretty natural. I am a very different mother than my own and have made a point to allow Leah time to do things.

I am teaching her to swim. I could have done lessons but she is 4 yrs old and wasn’t putting her head under the water and she hates showers. Randomly dunking her under the water would be an unpleasant experience in a group setting. She would be the child that cried and choked because she does things in her own time and she is so much happier when she has this opportunity.

She is now determined to learn and yesterday she dove down to the bottom to fetch the toys.. in water up to her neck. This is no small task for a child who can’t swim to the bottom but with a little coaching by mom and a new set of goggles and a new suit, she DID IT. Later, we had a lesson in pushing off the bottom with her feet in the water over her head. The lesson was pushing off the bottom and grabbing the wall and shimmy across to the stairs. It was fun and served a valuable purpose. Prior lessons included using her hands as cups to move foward in the water.

She was ready to put it all together. She laughed and threw the set of goggles away from her and would retrieve them with a foot or she would just go after them and flail in the water. Now, to me the flailing looked like drowning an omg it was impossible for me to not grab her out. She wasn’t upset at all and laughed and would do it again. I want her to swim and couldn’t stand to see her “drowning”. The next time she let go of the wall, I put me head under water and saw her little face as she flailed in the water. She was concentrating on her arms and legs and letting little bubbles out of her nose as I had taught her. She looked at me and I new she was figuring out the mechanics of swimming and as terrible as it looked from the surface, she wasn’t scared at all. I was so relieved and still a little unsettled when she did it but I only had to remind myself of her little face. I learned to let her fail but to look in her little face as she is flailing and I will know if she needs rescue or to learn on her own, as ugly as it looked the result is going to be her own achievement. I am thankful for my weekly pool time with Leah. We have less time than ever together but she is within an arms reach and in my arms so much more than during past visits.

I am mom…