Thursday, May 7, 2009

thoughts on having fun and being a mom

I love swimming. I always have enjoyed jumping into the nice cool water and gliding through the water. I love the feel of floating on my back in complete relaxation. I love challenging my body and swimming out to a very far point in the lake or snorkeling with fish under the water. I love to boogie board and bob in the waves. It is my favorite thing in the whole world. But it also can be very dangerous if you do not know how to properly swim. Today I shared how to love the water with Ashling.

She has had a difficult swimming start. When she was two she almost drowned. I was getting ready to leave a friend's pool and was packing my bag. The girls still wanted to be in the water and naively I "let" the kids stay on the shallow shelf in the pool. I kept asking them to get out but would turn around and not follow through as I packed the bags. Ashling's floaties were off and she somehow got knocked off the shallow shelf and into the deep water. I wasn't paying close enough attention and didn't notice. Ali screamed and screamed to me-probably saving Ashling's life. I could see her kicking and reaching with her arms as she struggled to come to the surface. I was glad she was still kicking. I went towards the pool in what felt like slow motion as each movement took way too long. I jumped in with my shoes on. I was so afraid I would be performing CPR and calling 911. But thank goodness I had taught her to hold her breath and she breathed as soon as I pulled her out of the water. I hope none of you ever have to experience that feeling as you realize you almost lost your child because you weren't paying enough attention. It made us both very afraid of what water can do and I am a lot more vigalent.

This is why I believe swimming lessons are so important. Ali learned to swim well at three and all it takes is enough experience in the water and anyone can swim. Last year Ashling had some swimming lessons but she never really learned to swim. So today I planned to go to Cameron's Aunt Marion's pool for Ashling's first mommy-daughter swim lesson. It was so fun to spend the time with my daughter alone. Marion took care of Annika and Ashling and I swam. I first had her get in the water and we worked on kicking. Since she has not been in the pool for so long she had forgotten most of everything. We worked on keeping our legs straight as we kicked. We practiced reaching with our arms. We played motor boat to work on her kicking skills. She rested on a princess pillow (floated on her back.) She jumped in and each time she got a little more brave.

Splashing around in the water and listening to Ashling laugh as I thought of fun ways to learn a new skill was so rewarding. I enjoyed having her play on my back holding on as I swam. I loved how trusting Ashling was and how she would try each thing I asked her to do even if she was afraid. And then she would try it again. Each time she got a little better. I remembered why I love being a mom again. It isn't the laundry or the dishes or the fighting. It is the laughing, the smiling, the trust and the sweet little arms around my neck that make me a mom.


Jesse said...

Well said.

I can't imagine how scary that pool accident was for you! Teaching kids how to swim and be safe is really the best protection, isn't it?

Happy Mother's Day!