I, personally, am a fan of life jackets in the backyard pool. And kickboards. And noodles. But then, I'm just the Mom.
Last June, a classmate of Katie's sank to the bottom of a backyard pool during a party. With tons of adults around. She was brought up by a 9 year old boy and my friend Tara kept her alive with CPR. She recovered miraculously after a month in Children's Hospital and just finished Kindergarten at The Academy.
The day after it happened I went and bought two lifejackets shaped like sharks and the girls haven't taken them off since.
As much as we use our pool, it comes with a LOT of fear and anxiety for me. And a lot of work for my Pool Boy. But the girls love it. Katie's natural caution has made it a great experience so far. Lots of tea parties. Mermaid melodramas. Some kicking. A lovely way to spend an afternoon in the Alabama heat.
|BP - Before the Push|
Yesterday, Anna decided she needed to learn how to retrieve dive rings from the bottom of the pool.
Some things you should know: Anna is buoyant. Super buoyant.
And fiercely independent.
I put on her goggles, and let her go for it. The dive rings, to date, had simply been used as jewelry for the tea parties. I could handle my fear to let her learn.
But she couldn't get down to the rings. Her bottom kept her bobbing on the surface while she reached and reached for her prize. And she wouldn't lift her head until she got one. She ended several tries coughing and gagging; but then would go back under without hardly pausing for a breath. Finally she looks at me and says,
"Mama, you have to push me."
I am pushy. That is for sure.
But I do not excel at the motivational PUSH.
I am trying to learn.
This seemed to be my chance.
So, I took my dear sweet angel that I carried through the 100 degree summer heat, the one I bounced for hours upon hours when she wouldn't sleep for the first 8 weeks, the one who has had multiple ENT surgeries so she can breathe through the night, and pushed her right down to the bottom of the pool.
It was horrible. My stomach was in knots. I was a wreck.
And then she burst through the surface with a ring in her upraised fist.
We're still working on the finer points. Like not inhaling while underwater. And stopping the open mouthed laughter before jumping in off the side of the pool. But she is amazing. And I'm pretty proud of myself too.
I have a feeling this is not the last time that I will feel equal parts paralyzing fear and overwhelming pride.
Or the last time she will have to push me, so that I can push her.