The shift has begun. We put the girls to bed just after 8:00 last night. They had swum quite a bit during the day, so two of them were tired. M.’s light was still on at 9:00, so I think she was reading. But C. had her radio cranked up and was singing away, as happy as could be. It’s funny how kids think a closed door means no one outside the room can hear what you’re doing.
I set my alarm for 6:45 to begin acclimating myself to the 6:30 alarms of the school year. I gave myself 45 minutes to drink coffee, catch up on Twitter and RSS feeds before I rousted the girls from their beds at 7:30. There wasn’t too much complaining, so I’ll call this part of the adjustment a success. We’ll see how grumpy everyone is Wednesday morning.
Our final weekend of the real summer was eventful. L. went off a diving board by herself, without floaties or someone catching her, for the first time. Four years, ten months, seven days. And she was a pro from day one.
She had gone a few times earlier this summer at the end of her swim lessons. But that was always with no one else near the board and her teacher in the water to catch her and then swim her to the side.
Last year, when we went to the pool only as guests, that system was good for parents as well. You could tread water under the board while your toddler in floaties jumped to you, and then drag them over to the ladder.
Apparently there was an injury or something because they told us early on this summer that wasn’t cool anymore. So other than those dives after practice in June, L. had no board attempts. She’ll jump off the dock at our LVS, but that’s with a lifejacket on.
Anyway, she had never really asked about it. Saturday we were spending a perfect afternoon at the pool. S. was with us so L. was showing off how she has been able to swim without floaties in the 3.5 foot section of the pool. I took her down to the deep (five foot) end and asked her if she could swim to the side, about 20 feet away. She didn’t even say yes, she just took off and made it with no problem. I noticed the lifeguards seemed to have loosened up the parents under the board rule, as a friend was helping his three-year-old get to the side after she jumped off the board.
“Do you want to try the diving board?” I asked L..
She got in line, when it was her turn I swam out near the board but not under it, and gave her the ok sign. She barreled down the board and jumped right in. She popped up, wiped the hair from her eyes, took a couple breaths, and swam towards me.
“Go to the ladder, swim hard!” I said as I kept just out of her arm’s reach.
She followed directions perfectly and made it to the ladder with no trouble.
She climbed out and went right back to the line.
Two jumps later she did a perfect cannonball, as if she had been doing them all summer. She must have gone off the board 20 times, and by the end I didn’t even leave the side of the pool. She wasn’t always the swiftest kid to the side, but she always made it. A couple times she made it without taking a breath.
I had hoped my big accomplishment for the summer would be teaching C. to ride a bike with no training wheels. She’s close, though she’s lost interest and I haven’t practiced with her much. Turns out L. going off a diving board will be the big physical accomplishment of the summer of 2013. Which is pretty cool, since last summer that was M.’s and C.’s big accomplishments. She might be younger, but L. is keeping pace with the big sisters.