She's a fish.
A low swiming, slip sliding, butt up in the air, no floatie wearing fish.
Today the floatie swim suit came off, she had her first swimming lesson, and the rest is history. By the end of the day she was diving off the edge and swiming half the length of the pool underwater. Our little girl can S-W-I-M!
She was so excited by this quantum leap in ability -- just yesterday she couldn't put her face in the water without gasping and cringing -- that the water felt electric with her in it. She was a supercharged power boat.
"I can SWIM, Mom! I can SWIM! I'm FREEE!"
I was surprised by my own emotion when I took the suit off later in the day and told her to practice what she learned. She didn't of course--instead she took off swimming like an underwater bullet. So much for the bubble blowing exercises. The confidence boost was all she needed. But as I watched her reach this latest milestone, I had tears in my eyes. Swimming today, driving tomorrow, leaving home the next: I'm FREEE!
And I don't know whether to be happy to have instilled in her the value of freedom, of individuality and ability, or devastated that she's already getting her sea legs.
Can't I put her back in? Just for a day? A week or two? A lifetime? That is my unbirth instinct--to put her back inside. Where I can keep my hands on her and love her and protect her and look forward to all of this instead of watching it pass too soon.