Thursday, June 21, 2012


I grew up swimming.  My parents put me into swimming lessons when I was 6 months old.  I started swimming on a year round club team when I was 8 and didn't stop until I was 18.  I love the water.  As I have gotten older I have begun to realize how very important it was for me growing up.  The mindless laps were my meditation time.  I never thought I needed alone time until I no longer had 2-4 hours a day of silence in a pool.  My team was my family.  Middle school was really rough for me.  I know it is for a lot of girls but I often think that swimming really saved me.  I belonged there, it built my confidence, and I fit in.  I was more than happy to go to 5:30 am practices before school and then practice after school too.  My friends were there, even when I felt like I didn't have any at school.  I was the only middle schooler practicing with the high school boys team, and that builds confidence.  (It didn't help "the boy" was on the team too.)  Swimmers aren't really known for being the "popular" crowd.  It is hard to be cool and attend all the social things when you have practice Friday night and Saturday morning.  Not to mention 3 day meets out of town.  It gave me excuses to not drink and do all those things that high schoolers do.  I might not have been strong enough to say no on my own but it gave me a great excuse.  It helped that my swimmer friends weren't into that either.  So the water has always been a comfort to me.

Mr. P on the other hand struggles in the water.  I tried to help him learn to swim and a couple of summers ago he finally was able to jump into the deep end.  Granted I had to be there, just in case but I was proud that he had overcome his fear.  My sister-in-law and her husband also live on a lake so our visits to them include boating and water sports.  Mr. P is able to enjoy all of that with a little liquid courage and a life jacket.

So saying all this before S and E were born Mr. P and I would talk about what sports the kids would play.  No soccer, baseball, or gymnastics... maybe basketball and volleyball.  All that being said if they want to play, we will let them.  Well when they were still in the NICU, S often had As and Bs.  This is part of the reason he was there for nearly 8 weeks.  It took awhile for the doctors to find out it was all being caused by reflux.  We always joked that S was just working on holding his breath because he is going to be a swimmer.  As S has gotten older it seems as though he and I come from the same pool.  (Ha ha...)  My boy LOVES the water and I love that. 

On Father's Day we had a picnic by a river and after throwing many rocks we got in.  Now this is mountain stream water so it isn't warm but S threw a giant fit when we tried to take him out.  He was in seventh heaven sitting and splashing in the water and grabbing rocks from the bottom to throw. 

He ended up with just his t-shirt on.  The shorts had to go.
He has always loved the pool.  He tries to blow bubble but really just licks the water.  He loves to splash.  The first time we went swimming his dad even took him under a waterfall.  His sister on the other hand screamed the whole time she was in the water.
A couple of days ago we were watching some older kids and we thought it would be fun to get the plastic kids pool out.  Well, Mr. P decided to get the sprinkler first.  It was still mid-morning and not too warm and I wasn't sure I wanted the kids wet yet.  Well, once the water was on S and the dog were in it.  In minutes S was dripping wet.  He happily played in the sprinkler and then in the pool until it was time to get out.  He was the only one, out of the 4, who actually sat down in the water.  Last time we played in the little pool he spent the whole time laughing hysterically at our dog, who loves to "catch" splashes.  Those two will have YEARS of fun in the water together. 
Notice the very dry little girl next to him.  She eventually got in but she wasn't so sure about the sprinkler. 

I'm excited for the years to come of spending time in the water.  I hope that as the kids get bigger and learn to swim that they still find joy in getting wet.  I hope they are never fearful, but cautious and careful around the water.  Most of all I hope they find a little slice of the comfort and calm in the water that I found growing up.  If S decides to be a swimmer I will do my best to get him to early morning practices and sit through DAYS of meets to watch him swim for a total of 5 minutes because I know how important time in the water can be.  If he just wants to play in it that is fine with me too.

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