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Just add water

March, 2014

Pool or beach, as long as there’s water involved, my kids will take it. Actually, that’s the understatement of the century.

Just add water

They’ll not only take it, they’ll wade in it, jump in it, float in it, splash in it, pretend to make water-cakes out of it, and just generally stay in it until I coax (OK, bribe) the little guppies out. It’s a wonder they haven’t spontaneously sprouted gills. I’ll be straight with you here. Sometimes, I make the executive decision to skip the beach in favor of the pool simply because the pool closes. That makes the lifeguard—not me—the bad guy. The process of leaving goes sooo much more smoothly when the kiddos know that there’s absolutely zero chance that the bronzed 18-year-old with the whistle will cave to their pleas of, “Just ten more minutes!” They don’t even bother trying. That’s what I call a Parenting Win.

Whenever I catch my blood pressure rising over their enthusiastic love of (obsession with?) the water, I try to remind myself that this is a good thing. Not just because they’re outside and active—both of which land solidly in the “plus” column, of course—but because all of my children are confident and happy in the water. Ben’s always been that way, but little Em? Not so much. Where Benny practically tore his Puddle Jumper off, flung his little body into the deep end and taught himself to swim, Em took baby steps. Lots and lots (and lots and lots) of baby steps. Some days, she could only work up enough courage to sit on the edge of the pool. So I’d sit there with her, brave girl, trying to make her less anxious by talking about things she already loved—the swings we’d visit later, the moon that looked so pretty last night, the theme song to her most favorite show. Seeing the look in her eyes as she watched Ben jump off the board and splash around with his friends—I just couldn’t bring myself to push her at all. I knew she’d do it in her own time. I held her hand when she needed me to, and gave her space when she’d let me.


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