Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Swim, Little Duckling! Swim!

Sometimes I forget that I'm not supposed to spend 100% of my day hovering over my kids, their hands clasped tightly in mine, and a hawk-eye on their every single move.

Lucky for my kids, my hubs is much more relaxed in parenting and more than happy to let them grow up and move on with their lives.

If someone had asked me a week ago if Gracie, my 5-year-old could swim, I would have said "Absolutely, positively NOT. Get a life vest and some water wings on that girl, stat!"

But my husband... "Sure she can."

This past weekend, we were visiting my grandma and the girls were swimming in her pool. My heart practically stopped beating when I saw Gracie - life vest free and water wingless - climb up the skyscraper-like diving rock and leap straight into the water. My eyes bugged out of my head and I scrambled to the side of the pool, debating whether I should rescue her with my shoes on or off.

"Relax. She's done it before," my hubs said.

Sure enough, after sinking all the way under, itsy bitsy little Gracie popped back up and paddled to the side of the pool, the biggest grin on her face.

Huh. I guess she can swim after all. Over and over again she jumped off the diving rock and swam to the side. All by herself. She had the Best. Day. Ever.

If it had been only me with her, Gracie never would have taken those water wings off. Well, she would have tried, but I would have shaken my head and stuck them straight back on.

It's hard to cut those apron strings, especially when it's time for them to do something I'm not quite sure they're ready for, simply because I like to believe they are itty bitty babies still.

Other moms out there, what's it like for you? Are you able to take off the water wings and let the little ducklings swim free, or are you like me, and smother them in your over-protectiveness? And how do you find the balance?



  1. Ah, my "little girl" is now 16 and just started driving. I am still an over-protective smotherer and have a hard time relaxing until she walks back in to the house. I don't think it will ever stop! :)

  2. Oh my goodness, Petra, I am hyperventilating on your behalf. I have no idea how I'm going to handle my daughter in 10 years when she gets her learners permit!! Good luck to you!

  3. I think I'm overprotective. But I blame it on the fact that I spent years going through IVF, finally became a foster-adopt parent, and (after 3.5 years) finally adopted our four year old son.

    Last weekend while playing squirt guns with bigger kids at a birthday party, a teenager picked my four year old up and threw him into the pool. He was terrified. He'd never been under water before. Now we take him to the local high school pool often to try to teach him to swim.

  4. HA, I'm so "whatever you want so long as you don't end up maimed". Nice, huh? Amelia has spent a good part of the summer in the "big pool" up the street and at least half of that without any flotation device. She can swim about half of the short length of the pool under water and she loves for us to drop her in the water until she can touch the bottom of the pool and then swim up. I will admit though, I was the less adventurous of the two of us as far as how long I'd let her stay submerged before I was pulling her up for air. She gets so mad when I do it too. And then...there's Merrick who flat out refuses to wear water wings or have anyone hold on to him. Of course he sinks straight away since he doesn't know how to swim. I let him go under for about two seconds as sort of a "here's what you get if I don't hold on to you". He comes up coughing and spewing water, but still gets mad when I don't let him go. Most of the time he ends up sitting on the side, p.o.'d or back in the splash pool.

  5. in our house we are almost the exact opposites. My husband has the eyes like a hawk and is keyed up beyond belief. While I would have no problems letting the Peanut play in the backyard while I'm in the house he has to know where she is At. All. Times. I'm looking forward to going to the pool and letting her explore a few feet away from me for a little while (also to get my poor sunburnt feet into some tepid water) and perhaps to experience being a kid the way I did.

    Of course I have my own tightening up the apron string moments too. It can be hard to find a balance

  6. Dude. This was my Hubs and my oldest, who was four at the time in a giant pool in Orlando.

    I had to leave the pool and go back inside the house, where I couldn't see her underwater because I didn't think a rescue attempt would be easy as I was like, 15 months pregnant.

  7. Neither of my babies know how to swim. Elie hasn't even BEEN in a pool, since early in my pregnancy with Charlie, and Charlie- never. I really need to get them into some kind of swimming program. But, soon there will be 3 of them, and only 1 of me, and how does THAT work??

    My eyes would have bugged out of my head too.

    Maybe I should have Christopher take care of it, haha.


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