Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Little Fish

Dear Ian,

Things are happening around our house.  Specifically, we are FINALLY getting our pool fixed.  Two years ago, Tropical Storm Faye visited Tallahassee and dumped about a zillion inches of rain on our little city.  All that rain caused the ground to shift under our pool, and this ground shift caused a big air bubble under the liner, and that bubble eventually popped.  Our poor pool drained in a matter of minutes.  Unfortunately, once you came along, the pool sorta took a back seat to all of the other changes going on in our life, and there it sat, gathering rain water, pollen and turning itself into a new pond-like ecosystem.  It was pretty gross actually.  We started calling it "the pit." 

But, we're finally getting Operation Back Porch underway.  We put down the little patio on the right side of the pool screen to fill in the gigantic hole that our dog, Basie, had created.  We replaced all of the screen screws that were starting to rust, and we also replaced a piece of screen that had a small tear.  Then we pressure washed the concrete, and now, we have finally reached the last piece of the over-haul: pool liner replacement.  As I type this post, we are about 18 days away from having our pool back in action.  We plan on celebrating with a big pool party shindig with our family and friends.  I cant wait.  It almost seems surreal.

Daydreaming about lounging in the cool waters of the pool, however, brought up a forgotten issue: namely your lack of fear.  Our pool is literally about six feet from the back door of our house, and you have proven yourself to have no fear of water.  You took to baths like a fish, you love to play in the sink and "wash" dishes, get a thrill out of splashing in your kiddie pool, and more frightening, you crawl head first into the waves of the Gulf of Mexico.  You love the water, and nothing about it scares you, and that simply terrifies me. 

The back door already has two locks on it, an alarm, and Daddy and I plan on adding another lock to the top of the door that you can't reach once you master turning the door knob.  We are also considering adding the special baby pool fence to our lines of defense and precaution.  However, all of that PLUS our eagle-eyed supervision might not be enough, so we made the decision to sign you up for special swimming classes through an organization called ISR, or Infant Swim Resource.  These classes don't teach the different strokes, but rather they teach water survival skills.  If you were to fall into the pool, you will have been taught to do a swim-float-swim sequence to either get yourself to an exit or to float and wait for a grown up.  Honestly, just writing this out and thinking about it gives me chills, because I can't imagine anything scarier or worse than this thought.  So I am going to try not to think about that and instead focus on how well you seem to be doing, even though you just started classes.

Today was your second class, and your teacher, Miss Patty, had you "swimming" (it's sort of a doggie paddle style, but your face is under water with your eyes open and looking for the steps or side) from her to the steps and to the side of the pool.  And then she would gently let you go, and you would swim to her.  I will be honest and say that you are crying a little during lessons, but Daddy and I know that this cry is more of a "I'm doing something new, and I don't really understand this process" sounding cry and not a cry of "I don't like this."  At the end of today's lesson, Miss Patty even asked if you wanted to swim to her again, and you immediately said, "yeah!"  The lessons are short, so I know that you don't get frustrated or overwhelmed, and Daddy and I are right at the edge of the pool cheering you on and encouraging you.  And about five seconds after getting out, you were asking to go back in.  That means the most to me; I didn't want you to develop a fear of the water, and so far, despite that you got a little upset, you still love the water and still want to swim. 

There are other, older kids that have lessons right before you, and I see how proficient they are in the water, and I am really excited that you will soon have that same ability and confidence.  Of course NOTHING is a replacement for our supervision, and that will be our first line of defense against anything happening to you in the water.  But it makes me feel a tiny bit better to know that you will have that confidence and ability.  We got quite a few different reactions from other people about these classes, and while most were supportive and understanding, there were a few that didn't seem to understand why we would make you go through something that made you cry.  Little Boy, if we didn't have a pool and you only had limited access to water, we probably wouldn't have worried with this option.  We would have simply waited until you were older and signed you up for lessons to learn swimming at the YMCA.  But with the risk so close, I plan on taking every step I can to keep you safe. 

Daddy and I were so proud to watch you swim today, and what made us even happier was to see you smile and say "POOL!" within seconds of getting out.  You are our little fish!

Love you so much!

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