I’m Going Swimming (Even if I’m Not Supposed to!)

May 3, 2010

It is no secret that Katy loves water. She does aquatherapy every Wednesday not because we want to force her to do something. She does it because she loves it. Same goes for our pool. Katy wants to be in it every minute of the day during the summer.

Well, it just so happens that I was trying to get the pool open this weekend. I say trying because it’s been a very – well, trying – project this year. As you all know, we were in Memphis two weekends ago when a series of bad thunderstorms – and tornadoes – swept through the St. Louis area. (And a prayer goes out to the families in Millington, TN, where we stayed. A lot of that area is completely flooded right now.)

When we got back home, I couldn’t find one of our trashcans that Shel and I had been using in the backyard as we attempted to bring order to the madness. I just figured it must have blown down the street while we were gone. Uh, nope. As I got the filter running on the pool last Wednesday, guess what I found laying in the deep end? You have no idea how bad our pool was.

So Sunday, I’m finally starting to make some progress. Shel ran off to do some errands and I have Katy in the backyard with me. She sees the water and makes a bee-line for the pool. I naturally have all the gates closed and she can’t get to it; but I figure I’ll see what she does. So, I bring her on the pool deck with me.

She crawls over to the edge and I tell her “That’s far enough.” I sit her down over one of the built in seats on the pool and she puts her feet in. I’m fine with that. She’s done that in the past. “Katy. No closer.”

The kicking and splashing begin now. And now, the glint in my daughter’s  eyes has pretty much taken over.

I’m no further than a foot away when she decides to take her next scoot just a little too far. Down she goes. There’s a reason I put her over the built-in seats: She ends up with her butt on the seat and her face never completely goes under; but she scared herself silly.

And that’s exactly what needed to happen.

Too many times, I rescue my daughter from life lessons because of her situation. I realize there are times where it truly is necessary to do so; she wouldn’t understand what had happened to her. But this was not one of those situations.

This weekend, Katy was a typical five year old wanting to go swimming no matter what. Next time, I’m hoping she thinks about it a little more.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Carrie May 13, 2010 at 10:32 pm

hey, so true about life lesson. I think that there is this stero type that says we should keep them away from anything that might hurt them cause they have special needs.. While they are kids and need to learn some life lessons too. . The best lesson learned is the one that hurts (or is scary).. What a great story!! I hope ya’ll are doing great.. Carrie


Todd May 14, 2010 at 8:22 am

Carrie- I think you’re on to something there with the stereotype. I’ve just always been concerned that she just wouldn’t understand what the lesson was. With the strides she’s making now, though, I think its time to find out what will get through.


Nathan Charlan May 15, 2010 at 9:17 pm

That’s a great testament/lesson for us as parents. It’s very difficult to let go like that and allow our exceptional children to learn those hard lessons. Thanks for reminding me to be more “typical” in my parenting and rely on the natural lessons of life, which shape our child’s character and maturity. Great post


Todd May 17, 2010 at 8:37 am

Nathan- Thanks for checking in on us! I really struggle to find that line with Katy. Sometimes I think it may actually be more difficult because of the size of our family. Our kids love to help Katy out – to play with her and fetch her ball for her and put her in the chair she wants. We all need to get used to the idea that Katy is a very, very strong little girl that we need to keep pushing – and maybe lay off the “helping” a little bit. But that line may be even harder for everybody involved!


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