Friday, May 9, 2014

Water Therapy

Long before we had kids, we had a pool.  Brian grew up with a pool in New Mexico and a about 10 minutes after we moved into our home in Houston he was ready to put one in our yard.  The kiddie pool that we had used to survive the previous Texas summer heat wave was not going to cut it.

I was pretty indifferent to the idea.  I'm not a big water person.  I'm not afraid of the water, I just don't like being wet.  Or wearing bathing suits.

But now that we have kids I am SO glad we have a pool.  As I mentioned in my last post, the pool has a very therapeutic affect on my kids.  They cry less in the pool.  They fight less in the pool. Swimming gives them lots of sensory input and a big release for their energy.  They sleep better after a big swimming day and that is always a good thing.

Up until a couple of days ago the 4 Littles were all mostly bobbers, bobbing around the pool in their life jackets.  Grace and Haven have both been solid swimmers since about age 3, but none of the others seemed to have that same level of interest or confidence.

But Tuesday afternoon something amazing happened.  As I said, I'm not a water person, so even though we have had the pool open for about 3 weeks I hadn't gotten in yet.  But on Tuesday Brian turned on the heater and the kids were begging so I finally got in.

Louise followed me in without her life jacket.  I carried her around the pool for a minute or two and then her innate fishy instincts took over and she just started swimming.  For real swimming, head in the water, arms and legs spinning.

JoJo (not to be outdone by his arch nemesis, Louise) took off his jacket and yep, he started swimming, too. His technique is not as smooth as Louise's.  He is a dog paddling maniac, but he can tread water across the pool at an amazing speed, a giant smile on his face all the while.

Finally, Manny asked to take off his life jacket, too.  This wasn't too surprising because he doesn't like wearing it to start with and he will often play in the in the water by the steps without it.  But on this afternoon, as soon as the jacket was off he just dove off the steps and swam all the way across the pool.

And I started to cry, as I am known to do when one of my kids surprises me with a moment of wonderful. By the time we got out of the water that day Manny was throwing toys in the pool and jumping off the side to retrieve them off the bottom.

When you have a kid who has struggled with staying calm and happy, to see him in that state of pure joy sort of takes your breath away.  It's the little things.

Here's a peak for all of you.  My 3 little fishies doing their water therapy.  Thank goodness for this pool.

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