Letting Go

letting_goI’m trying really hard not to let my fear of the water affect how I raise our children. Swimming pools have always made me nervous. Water in general makes me nervous. We tend to travel places that have lakes, oceans, or swimming pools readily available. This is why I want our daughter, Emma, to learn how to swim at an early age. Addie is right behind her.

When Emma was just a few months old, we started a “mommy and me” swim class. It was great for both of us. It helped me get used to the water again, while introducing Emma to the pool. Sadly, we moved and I never followed up with lessons for Emma. Until recently.

Emma has been taking swim lessons for several months now, and she and loves swimming. Addie won’t be far behind her, and will start lessons this summer. We have a Hawaiian vacation coming up, and I want to make sure Emma, our oldest, is as comfortable in the water as possible. I know there isn’t a “drown” proof way to swim. But at least I know if something ever happened around the water, she’d have a little more experience and knowledge than most kids her age.

Emma’s swim school rewards its students with ribbons. When they reach the next level, they get another ribbon. Emma earned her first ribbon for being comfortable in the water, being a good listener, and putting her face in the water with ease. I’m thinking each ribbon she receives really builds her confidence. We went away for a few days over the weekend to a place that had a pool, and she was determined to swim on her own. We’re trying to get her to understand that although she is learning and progressing well at swim lessons, she’s not a full swimmer yet. Emma already thinks herself a fish, or maybe even a mermaid. Specifically, Ariel.

Emma is slowly learning to love and respect the water. However, as much as I can prepare her for the water, I’m still terrified something will happen. I don’t turn my back on the water for a second. But I know at some point, I’m going to have to trust Emma and everything she’s learned. As with all things parenting, letting go is hard to do. But every parent must let go at some point, and trust that they their child is equipped to handle whatever challenges (or swimming pools) come their way.

Article and Photo Credit: Cam Bowman

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