I was driving to get my daughter from school a few days ago, thinking about how fast this year has went by (I know everyone says that every year but it's true, once you have kids-time goes by in a blink) and a memory came into my mind.
Years ago, when I was home schooling both my kids, we took an overnight field trip to see the opera, Brigadoon. I loved it, the kids loved it, I even think my husband loved it. Afterwards, at the hotel we were all swimming in this fantastic pool. The structure was made to look like a lake surrounded by rocks and trees and sand. Now I am (was) a strong swimmer and very comfortable in the water, my son was doing his swimming merit badge at the time & was also comfortable in the deep-end of the pool as long as I was watching.
However, my husband does not enjoy the water if he can't touch the bottom and some of that insecurity rubbed off on our daughter. She was happy clinging to you if her feet didn't touch the bottom but the minute you tried to let go she would panic. So most of the swim she stayed happily next to her dad playing in the "shallows" that is until she noticed her brother jumping off the rocks into the deep end of the pool where I would pull him to the surface and he would swim to the side and jump again.
Now she wanted to jump. So we tried it once, she jumped I caught her, then spent the next two minutes dragging a flailing, screaming kid to the side of the pool because she was sure she was going to drown! of course even after this near-death experience, she wanted to jump again. Her brother didn't want to have to wait for his turn while I dragged her to the side, So I told her unless she was willing to float while I guided her to the edge she would have to go back to her dad.
We had already taught her how to float on her back but she was never confident enough to stay floating unless she could feel your hands on her back and would end up panicking and sink. I thought she would go back to her dad but she agreed and waited for her brother's jump and then jumped again. When I pulled her to the surface she started to struggle and I quickly reminded her she needed to float!
I placed one hand under her back and started to swim to the side of the pool. She was so proud of herself, even though I could feel her shaking, she kept telling me, "see mom, I am floating, see, see?" As we spent about another hour doing this over and over again she became more secure and more confident with her floating. I kept telling her "it doesn't matter how deep the water is below you if you can float YOU'RE NOT GOING TO SINK!"
Soon I was getting tired. I told them one more jump and it was time to get out. My daughter had her turn first and as I was towing her to the side of the pool my son forgot to wait until I was back to the middle before jumping! Without me there to pull him up he went deeper than he had before and I knew he wouldn't be able to focus enough to bring himself up quickly. I pulled my daughter to the edge of the pool and said, "hold tight & don't let go." I saw my husband running up the side to where my daughter was clinging and quickly swam over to where my son had jumped. Dived and grabbed hold and was just coming out of the water when my daughter lost her grip on the edge of the pool. Her dad wasn't at her side yet and we both watched a look of fear and panic cross her little face as she felt herself slipping into the deep water.
This was one of those slow-motion instances where you know it's only seconds that go by but it feels like an eternity and the images are burned into your mind forever!
Her arms spun backwards in the air and right before her head went under the water I saw her take a breath, tilt her head back, and RELAX! In that slit second, when she was all alone, very scared and basically surrounded by danger, she chose to trust what she had been taught and she floated!
"Proud parent" moment!! While I swam with our son to the side of the pool my husband reached in and pulled our daughter out of the water. Once she was safely in her dad's arms she asked, "did you see me float?" We all shared a laugh and a (hysterical) sigh of relief. We were done swimming.
Now it has been years since this happened. I still see it as if it happened yesterday. My daughter remembers a little but says it's mostly the feeling of being scared but knowing she was ok because we were right there.
My son remembers the pool & his jump. My husband remembers the pool. go figure! LOL
What got me thinking is this, how many times do we find ourselves in the "deep end" surrounded by fear and loosing our grip on the edge and slipping? With me it happens alot! But what is so reassuring about this is...
I know how to float!
And I know who is reaching for me.
AND I KNOW WHO WILL PULL ME OUT AND LIFT ME TO SAFETY!
"Trust is a powerful thing"
March 2018 :)
2 weeks ago