Monday, August 13, 2007


Tristan's big splash

It's been such a lovely summer so far, full of sunshine and traveling and beaches and pools and water parks. I know we've had a good summer because we're on our fourth package of swim diapers... that's a lot of fun in the water!

Over the course of the summer, Tristan has gone from not quite being able to swim the width of the pool with a float to being able to swim very short stretches unassisted in a panicky sort of dog paddle. He's shown a lot of improvement with all the time we've spent in the water lately, and has taken great delight in being able to jump off the side of the pool and "cannonball" into the shallow end.

Yesterday, we spend an unexpected but lovely four hours or so splashing about and lounging on the deck of our friends' new pool. Despite Tristan's improvement through the summer, I had serious reservations when my friend UberGeek asked Tristan if he'd like to jump off the diving board and UG would help him get to the ladder. It's a testament to many, many years of friendship that I would even consider letting Tristan try - that, and the way Tristan's face lit up when he said, "SURE!" and scrambled up onto the deck before I could even formulate a protest.

The first jump, as soon as Tristan surfaced sputtering and wide-eyed, UberGeek was there to grab him and guide him to the ladder. I took a deep breath of my own and bit back my maternal concerns as Tristan practically ran to the diving board for the next jump - and the next, and the next, and the next. By the end of the afternoon, he was jumping in and able to swim to the ladder completely unassisted, and was also able to swim most of the length of the pool with only minimal assistance. Just like getting up on two wheels, it's amazing how quickly the little synapses fire in a growing brain to suddenly "get" a new activity and master it.

Simon too was the picture of contentment, splashing around in an unusual swim ring built into a t-shirt, a design I've never seen before. While getting him in and out of it was quite reminiscent of shoving him down the birth canal, it seemed a lot safer and sturdier than water wings or a traditional ring float.

In a single afternoon, Tristan went from barely able to swim a foot or two to jumping off the diving board and swimming to the edge, and I went from ensuring neither boy was further than arms' reach away from a grownup to letting them splash and float contentedly around the deep and shallow ends under their own power. I'm simply gobsmacked. And it served as a good reminder that the boys are likely to be ready to take on new challenges far earlier than I'm going to be ready for them to do so.

I only wish I'd had a camera with me...

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