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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Swimming free



We had a great weekend. Saturday turned out to be a lovely sunny day to roast hot dogs and enjoy some visiting time with our friends. We moved our fire to the front yard where we could over look it from our balcony. It worked out perfect and not having a landscaped yard has it's bonuses! I forgot the marshmallows (Oops) but I'm sure us parents didn't mind missing that sticky business! Then on Sunday we all went swimming for the first time as a family group! There was thirteen of us! Our five, six and eight year old sons jump from the diving board into the deep end while the rest of us watch. Our new son who's turning three was amazed with his surroundings and wanted to try everything while our new daughter who's turning four just LOVES the water! Kicking and paddling she was having a blast! Water is her element which makes me very happy! Although leaving was more of our challenge. Our now youngest daughter did not want to stop swimming after two hours! She screamed but was soon happy once home drinking her milk and cuddling with Mommy. I've been thinking about different therapies. Two of our daughter's for years have been doing really well with their confidence, their posture and mobility with Therapeutic Horse Riding. I'm now thinking about Aquatic Therapy for our newest daughter. While I was in the water with her, I'm holding her with my one arm and helping her move both her legs with the other while counting out loud. She was enjoying this. 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 -10! She hates laying on her front side (on her stomach) While swimming I'm holding her so she's swimming front side down in the water. A side she or I rarely sees. I've been doing some research on water therapy and it relieves stiffness, stress and develops muscular strength and flexibility. Water creates relaxation so you can increase your range in motion. It's a weightless environment which will help us help our daughter's mobility while she grows. I've always known swimming is a great recreational sport for our family but now having a child with limited freedom of movement; while in the water there are no limitations....she's like everyone else. She's also little enough to use the floating boats, so she was floating, kicking and smacking the water around her. Throwing rubber balls and giggling! It was fun. We have to give a half hour for organizing ourselves into the pool and another hour to leave the pool but it's worth the time in the water! When I was a child and I hear our children often say, "I wish I could fly" Swimming is like flying. It reminds me of a book we read to our children, Caramba by Marie-Louise Gay. It's about a cat that wishes to fly but while trying falls into the ocean. He flapped his arms, glided through the water, whirled his tail, soared through the seaweed, somersaulted and swooped. He was light as a feather, free as a bird. It was like flying. So I can imagine for our new daughter swimming is like walking, running, skipping and flying. If I were her, I wouldn't want to leave either! So I have a feeling we're going to be turning into a flock of birds or a bunch of humpback whales swimming on a regular basis! It was a great weekend and this is what life should be about. Family, friends and swimming free.........

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