We’ve had such fun this year with a gift that keeps on giving. A gift for Christmas, we have the much appreciated freedom to spend the deepest and snowiest winter months splashing at a local pool.
Fearful of the destructive mix between chlorinated water and cell phone, I have refrained from getting any cute shots despite the groan I find myself emitting each time we enter the pool area and I find beautiful evening sunlight filtering through the wall of windows.
Today was the day I dared.
Pooching tummies, inflatable feet and little poofy britches made it irresistible.
First tentative steps onto the cement shore, cautiously assessing water temperature, and then Little Boy is off and running, sending sprays of water across the shoreline, gleefully watching backlit water droplets explode from his feet like jewel explosions with each step. Unfortunately, jewel explosions necessitate the camera’s hasty retreat to a fold in a towel.
The Littlest (who is growing, my goodness!) takes some cautious steps. Then in an uncharacteristic move, which reminds me he is still more tiny boy than the precocious daredevil he more often appears to be, his little lip separates from it’s partner and begins to pooch out while he tries so hard not to burst into tears. Diligently urging me toward the locker room, I feel torn. He is afraid. This is not too surprising since one of his favorite games last time seemed more water swallowing than tentative exploration, but we will stay. We talk, about what he wants, what he can do (stay with Mom or be in the water…poochy lip), we see all the kids playing.
Finally I sit on the edge of the pool with him. This is a previously unavailable option as the Littlest’s usual sense of adventure has landed a life jacket from the pool attendants before, and we sit. Snuggled in with a little bare boy, marveling and wondering when his legs started to grow lean and long enough to dangle off my lap, and we watch.
Eventually we spied another baby coming to the pool. Then another getting in the water. Pointing back and forth, baby to baby, he seemed to like that other babies were there too. Tentatively a toe touched the water. After a bit, two feet gave a little splash. Oh! Back to Mom’s lap. Oozing…oozing…toward the water…splish! Splash! Check in with Mom.
Slowly and tentatively, he found his courage to try the water. So much so, by the time this little brother was having his hair styled into a mohawk in the shower room, he had successfully rediscovered his joy in the water.
I’m proud of my Littlest today for finding courage.
I’m proud of myself for staying and helping him find it rather than calling the pool hour quits.
Oh, the many things older brothers are good for. Mohawk tutorial is definitely on the list.