Thursday, August 4, 2011

My Favorite Day of Summer

Today was my favorite day this summer! One that I will never forget and one that still has me all gushy inside. An unexpected victory for Anna. You moms all know what I mean, that day that your child does something for the first time. Not just that they did it but that they overcame fears to do it. Today was that day for me.

This year we signed Anna up for individual swimming lesson at our pool. Although Anna (8) would be content to bop around in 3 and 4 feet forever we wanted her to learn how to swim, really swim. And since at our pool kids have to pass a swim test to go down the slide and swim in the deep end we wanted her inched closer to that goal. It's a pretty hard test. One lap, swimming with real strokes, without stopping. And let me tell you, that's one LONG lane!

arm up strokes.jpg

Anna started off this summer terrified of the deep end and lessons in the lane. But little by little she started to do it. But only half way. She practiced everyday we were at the pool with daddy in the lane with her. Her strokes were perfect it was her fear that stopped her half way. Honestly, we were happy with her progress this year. Swimming, really swimming in the lane line even half way was pretty cool.

Until today, when I ran back into the house for my camera as we were pulling out of the driveway. "maybe today will be the day" I thought. "she 's getting closer..."

The lesson started out just as it always does lately with Anna swimming half of the lane and then grabbing onto the lane line to rest a bit. After a half hour of this her teacher sat with her on the side and talked. She encouraged her. She told her that she had all of the strokes and that she could do it all the way. She kept saying over and over, "you're safe Anna, you're safe" which brought tears to my eyes because this teacher who only met her this summer and doesn't know that Anna has issues with feeling unsafe kept saying just what that little girl needed to hear.

looking at teacher.jpg

She sat with her on the edge of the pool for a good 10 minutes really tuned into stiff Anna who melted into what her teacher was saying and began to cry. And to cry in front of her teacher meant she finally felt safe.



Her teacher hugged her and then said, "okay Anna, one last time today. You can did it. Say it. Say I can do it and mean it. I'll be cheering for you the whole way."

teacher slide in back.jpg

high five.jpg

Abigail and I sitting to the side quickly said a prayer that she would feel safe.

She walked her to the other end of the lane and Anna got into the pool and started to swim. It was one of those mommy moments I couldn't control myself. I was screaming for her the whole way. Didn't care who was at the pool or what they thought. I snapped away and tears streamed down my face as she swam and swam and swam toward me.

And she didn't stop as her teacher, little sister and I screamed, "you can do it Anna. Don't stop Anna. Keep going Anna." (she tells me now that she didn't hear any of it)

swimming close to end.jpg

reaching end.jpg

eyes closed.jpg

head in.jpg

almost end.jpg

anna reaching end.jpg

slanted, anna reaching end.jpg


And she did it! The whole way. She passed the test. I'm still shocked and thrilled for her. Lots of hugs, and Abigail said as soon as she got out of the pool, "I'm so proud of you Anna."

Yes it's one of those days. Not just because she swam the whole lap but that she took one step closer to feeling safe. Feeling safe at her pool, feeling safe with her teacher, feeling safe in her own skills. There is just nothing like seeing your child feel safe.

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