- I had told the boys to each grab their towel and David forgot his and I didn't notice
- As we walked in we didnt see any familiar faces, usually this makes it tough for Jacob to want to go in the water
- David had not only forgotten his towel, he forgot his snack as well, and it was over 99 degrees outside, he needed to get wet, but was definitely in a bad mood, and unlikely to want to go in the water
And then, as I get in the pool, Jacob is asking me to cheer up David and low and behold, there is David's summer school teacher- the nicest, most upbeat male teacher, Mr K....he smiles at David who quickly wipes away his tears.....things are looking up. Mr K engages David in some chatting, and David smiles at him and nods his head to answer his questions. With time, David begins to whisper his answers. Mr K swims around with his daughter and every so often chats with David about the tortoise in their classroom and what they had worked on during the day.
As time went on, Jacob, David and I swam into the deeper part of the shallow pool....David is laughing, giggling, we are splashing. David is loving it! I kick my feet and David belly laughs. He asks me to do it again. He asks me to splash as hard as I can. I am splashing and splashing and he is getting soaked. He floats for a while on my back, pushes me underwater, all the while laughing and giggling. Jacob got hungry and begins to ask for a snack break. Typically David is only too happy to get out of the water....he looks for any excuse to get out and sunbathe. David does not want to get out. He is jumping David style, so it is more of a slide into the pool than a full on jump, but he is going in and out of the water and LOVING IT!
We are in the pool together for over an hour.....I am being splashed, soaked, exhausted from the nonstop water in my face....but I can't stop....David is happy in the pool. David is giggling and laughing and I could stay like this in this moment with him forever. Jacob rejoins us and they both are on my back and we are laughing the 3 of us. Jacob realizes how special this moment is! He too understands that today is special and will be treasured by us forever.
I know that the warm weather likely is what got David into the pool., I notice that the longer he is in the water his body begins to get looser, he never floats, his body is always much tighter than yours or mine, but he allows me to play with him. He plays back and laughs and giggles, and we are 1 step closer to him one day swimming.
I believe, and always have, that children should be taught 2 things...they should learn to ride a bike and to swim. For David these 2 things are still elusive, but if the desire is there, we will make progress. David missed the water play time when he was a baby and a toddler, he hated the water. I figure he is at about the level of a 3 year old right now in the pool. I have faith after today that in the right temperature water he will get there. We will master swimming for the sake of physical safety in a body water if not for the Olympics, and I know we will master bike riding as well!