When we first started the children in swimming lessons at the beginning of February there is no way Naomi would sit at the edge of the pool like this.
She wouldn't have let Bethany either. In fact, if any of the other children went even slightly near the pool she would be crying, grabbing them around the waist and pulling them back. What a change!
Let's rewind to December 2010.
Prior to Christmas we attended a get-together with 4 or 5 other homeschooling families. We all met at the local Botanic Gardens for a picnic lunch. There was a total of around 35 children between us, all running around and interacting happily. It was a beautiful day, in beautiful surroundings and we adults were enjoying the relaxed atmosphere.
Most of the children had gathered together for a game of soccer and most of the adults were sitting on a picnic rug in the shade watching them. Michael was sitting on a chair nearby. Suddenly Bethany was at his side and she was clearly upset. "What's wrong Bethany?" asked Michael. "Naomi fell..." She didn't even finish her sentence and Michael was up out of that chair and running toward to duck pond.
Bethany came to me and while I was comforting her, Michael was plucking Naomi from under the surface of the water. She was okay. She didn't pass out, but she had swallowed some of that horrible water. I stripped her off, wrapped her in a blanket and cuddled her; and cuddled her; and cuddled her some more. It was so scary. And it could of been a LOT worse.
Bethany was okay too. Although she did draw a picture the next day which, apparently, was, "...the duck that didn't save Noami".
Although we suspected Naomi hadn't inhaled much, if any of the water, a few days later she was still unwell. So, we took her to the doctor. He gave her a round of antibiotics and she picked up quickly.
Over the following week or so, this incident sparked some reflection about a few things in my spiritual life. More about that in my next post.
Toward the end of January, I thought it was time to take Naomi back to the gardens. I didn't want to allow too much time to pass without her needing to deal with any possible fear she may have developed. She was fine in the shower or bath, but I wasn't sure how she'd be with a larger expanse of water.
It was all going well...until she decided that the lilypads were a good place to go for a walk! She didn't go under this time, but she did get wet up to her waist. And that was it. It seemed she was destined to be afraid of water from then on! And it was then we decided swimming lessons were a must.
We found the perfect set-up for us at a local pool. We signed up for a 'family hour'. We get one hour a week with a teacher just for our family. We also get access to the pool any time during the swim term for no extra. The first week all of the children were excited - including Naomi. That is, until we got to the pool. As soon as she saw the water her demeanor changed. The other children couldn't wait to get in and Naomi was busily pulling them all as far away from the edge as possible!
But, by the end of that hour, she was sitting on the edge of the pool with her feet in the water. By the end of the lesson the following week, she was playing in the water on the top step. The next week, she was fully in the water with an adult (okay, she was clinging, but she was in!). Now? Well, take a look at her now:
Not only is she happy to be in the water, she's happy for the other children to be in there too! She will go in with an adult without her floation aids. She will blow her bubbles and even go underwater! She has totally overcome her fear and Mummy is overcoming hers knowing that the children are learning a very valuable skill.
Only by His grace,