by threegirlpileup

Kids started back to school today in these parts, and our homeschool group had a not-back-to-school party at the pool. Swimming, yay! All of us around here love to go swimming.

Today’s outing was at a public pool in Raleigh, one of the few around here that remains open after school starts. In addition to the pools, there was a big splashground. Anna especially enjoyed this feature, running around with her friend Oliver, sticking her face in the spray and chasing each other through the tunnels of water. It was especially exciting when she realized that she could control some of the spray herself.

I keep wanting to get some pictures of the girls swimming, but the pool is not the most conducive to photography. Besides the whole water issue, there’s the fact that I’m almost always in the pool with the girls. Beyond that, the fun stuff so often happens really fast and often underwater. One of the few pictures I got of Maggie today was this one…

…which is mainly of her friend Max. That’s Maggie down there in the lower left-hand corner–she’d already landed in the water by the time I snapped the picture. But I think it gives a good sense of the fun they were having. Maggie hasn’t had a lot of time playing with her friends at the pool, so this was a particular treat. She and Max were jumping into the 10+ ft. deep water, trying to touch the bottom.

For me, it’s such a joy to see Maggie in the water. For so long, she was so scared of the water–interested, intrigued, but ultimately very nervous. We couldn’t go to the beach because she was scared of the waves. She wanted to go to the pool, but would only sit on the side with her feet in. Now, she is like a little fish–confident and exuberant in the water. Even when her limited technique makes it seem like she’s working hard and not getting much of anywhere, we often catch her literally beaming in the pool. So of course, we beam right back.

Swimming is just one particularly dramatic example of the value of letting kids do things in their own time. Certainly with Maggie, it’s been the case in many areas that she isn’t ready, and isn’t ready, and then suddenly, she is REALLY ready. Trying to force things has always backfired with her. I’m grateful that we have a life that allows for the girls to take their time about things. Really, it’s such a blessing.