I (We) witnessed a small miracle yesterday…
My daughter Isabel’s little legs kicking furiously under the water as she bobbed her head beneath the surface and flailed her arms around. Not a perfectly synchronized swimmer to be sure, but a swimmer nonetheless! We were in the baby pool at Dan’s parents’ country club, which is about 3 feet deep all around. Swim lessons the last several weeks have gotten the girls more comfortable in the water, and add that to a pool they can stand up & walk around in, and voila! Izzy took off. She swam short distances between me and Susan (Dan’s stepmom) and I think the fact that she could pause and put her feet on the bottom gave her confidence. She’d take a quick breath and then yank her feet up and dive under again to swim the rest of the way. Popping up to the surface, she’d swipe the chunks of hair out of her eyes, make a dramatic gasping sound, and wait for more applause.
Once she started, she wouldn’t stop. Her eyes became red from the chlorine and her skin was wrinkled like a prune. She refused to rest even though I encouraged her to do so…finally we insisted that it was time to go home. I was hoping to try again today (and to see what she would do in the big pool), but it’s raining here. So it will have to wait.
Abby appeared nonchalant at first, but I think jealousy has set up shop. As with most other things at our house, though, I believe this will force Abby to take the plunge (pun intended), too. Both girls are very comfortable in the water, but lately Abby tilts her head back and looks up as she goes underwater—which means water goes up her nose since she can’t always remember to blow bubbles.
Anyway, it was one of those BIG moments as a parent–when you realize your kids are growing up. I had a flashback to this time last year, when the girls were in the midst of potty training and a trip to the pool was mostly just stressful for me and involved lots of in & out and yanking down wet suits, soggy swim diapers, and the single most embarrassing thing ever, the Abby-had-diarrhea-in-the-country-club-pool, the OhMyGodIWantToShrivelUpAndDie Day. Fortunately those memories are all in the past and we are big girls now and it’s so exciting to step back for a minute to realize how far we’ve come. I know we still have a long way to go and my life never seems to feel calm, organized, and stress-free, but…the girls are great (most of the time) and it’s rewarding to see them excel at something and feel like it’s partially because of me.
And then someone starts yanking someone’s hair or screaming about being hit and I snap right back to reality.