Swimming is something that all of the kids still enjoy. I grew up with a pool and love being in water.
Liam was born in a tub – natural birth in a hospital in Allentown, PA. Midwives and a Doula. It was a great and safe experience.
Liam did not love water, just because of that, unfortunately. When we enrolled in Mommy and Me swim classes at the Y, his low muscle tone (aka skinniness), caused him to always feel cold (hence the wet suit he’s wearing in the picture to help keep him warm). He stopped crying during swim time and learned to stop cringing when we put his face under water. He hated the ocean at 1-1/2. The sand… sensory overload. He wouldn’t walk across it. At that age, the sound of the ocean was also overwhelming.
Eventually, he grew to enjoy swimming and even the ocean. Although he is still easily cold, he is someone we cannot get to come out of the pool on a hot day. In the ocean, if there are jellyfish or anything else in the water, he is freaked out. On a clear day, he will play for hours.
Kieran has been a fish since he first started taking baths. In fact, we knew we were in trouble when he was jumping in the pool at age two without an adult present and got “talked to” by the lifeguard.
He doesn’t “swim” in the traditional way. He looks like a shooting star when he tries: arms and legs going out all over the place, him not moving in any direction. Water parks are his favorite, even after he almost got sucked out of an inner tube during a long slide ride, which scared me to death. Swimming is the one activity that tires Kieran out – that he’s willing to do for long periods of time without giving up, or being frustrated by (unless we make him try to swim strokes).
Swimming was a great, low impact way for the boys to build muscle strength. During Mommy/Daddy and Me classes, which we also had Mea participate in, we connected through lots of great snuggles and laughs as we sang and clung to each other – to stay safe. It was a great way, actually, to teach Mea (our daughter through adoption) that we could be trusted to keep her safe – so helpful with bonding.
We have many family videos of swimming in our “blue bag of water” in the backyard. We try to take vacations that include swimming in some way. Swimming plays an important part in our family life.