into the deep end

This weekend was so busy that I’m going to have to cut this into two separate posts. The most important news item first… (dun-dun-DUUUN!!!)

Catie is no longer afraid of the swimming pool.

Trust me, this is huge.

A month ago, I had to bribe her to just to get her to stick her feet in the water. We’ve been to the pool a few times since then, and each time she’s gotten gradually a little more comfortable, but she still wouldn’t go past the two steps that lead into the pool. I didn’t push it that much. I figured that this was all just practice, and that next summer she’d be more comfortable.

Yesterday, we had my cousin and her gang come swimming with us. Elizabeth is probably just about as chicken as Catie is about the water. But you can use logic with Elizabeth (a skill Catie has yet to master), so I stood in the two-feet deep shallow end of the pool and showed Elizabeth, “Look, see, the water only comes up to here on me? And you’re way taller than this, so the water won’t be over your head if you come off the steps!” It worked. Elizabeth stood up in the pool, and she realized that I was right.

Catie stubbornly stayed on the steps and insisted the water was too deep. I pointed out that she’s actually a little bit taller than her cousin, so if the water was an ok depth for Elizabeth, it would definitely be ok for Catie. Catie finally eased herself off the second step into the water. And once they were both off the steps and in the pool? They were unstoppable. They hopped all over the shallow end like tiny kangaroos, they had us carry them out into the deeper water and spin them around, give them “horsey-back” rides around the pool, etc. It was great.

This afternoon, even though it looked like it might rain, Catie and I decided to quickly throw on our swimsuits again and go back to the pool. I thought we’d probably be there for five minutes before the storms rolled in and we’d have to leave, but we lucked out. The weather held out, and we spent an hour and a half at the pool, just playing in the water.

At one point, Catie was watching a couple of boys who kept jumping in the deep end. She wanted me to carry her over there so she could watch them. (There aren’t any diving boards, they were just doing cannonballs from the edge of the pool.) She watched for a few minutes, then said, “I can do that?”

I wasn’t sure what she meant, so I asked her if she wanted to jump in the pool. She said yes. So I helped her up onto the sidewalk, and she walked over to the lounge chairs, turned around, and ran to me. I caught her around her mid-section as she jumped so that she wouldn’t hit the water too hard. We repeated this about 25 times. (For the record? That’s a pretty great upper-body workout.) A few times I didn’t catch her quite in time and her head went completely under water for a split second before I pulled her back up, but she came up laughing every time.

I’m just stunned. A month ago, she cried when I mentioned going to the pool. Today, she jumped into the deep end.

I don’t know when this kid is going to stop knocking my socks off with the things she does. But apparently it won’t be anytime soon.

5 thoughts on “into the deep end

  1. Be careful, ours were the same way until that same switch flipped. Now they are fish and hard to get out of the water. Time for swimming lessons! Well, maybe to start next Spring/Summer swimming season so she doesn’t forget.
    Hockeymandad´s last blog post ..School Years- round 2My Profile

    • @Hockeymandad, Yeah, it’s too late in the season to start swimming lessons now – the pool closes after Labor Day weekend! But definitely next year for sure.

  2. Omg freaking AWESOME! This has made my entire day. Seriously. I know I don’t “know” you in person or anything, but really this has made my day. I remember when my cousin Jake was terrified of the water. We went to the beach and he cling to me so hard that his legs were practically wrapped around my neck. He wouldn’t go in the ocean, he’d scream and cry if we attempted to take him in.

    The next year when he was 3? Couldn’t get him OUT of the water.

    The power of children and their minds, how they can trust their mom’s and dad’s (or cousins) just makes me smile. That is awesome. Way to go Catie, way to go.

    She may be an Olympic swimmer in 20 years and you can tell the story of her crying at the thought of going to the pool. Best story ever. 🙂

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