When we went to Florida in April, Phoebe was still using her puddle jumper (which is the best thing we have bought for the girls to use in the pool....ever) to swim. The pool at the house we rent in Florida is different from our own personal pool at home. At home we have an above ground pool that is 4 feet deep all around. In Florida, the rental has an in-ground pool that goes from a shallow end of 3 feet deep to a deep end of 5 feet deep.
Swimming is an activity we always encourage with Phoebe, especially with the puddle jumper, because it is a good way for her to build up some muscle strength. And with her having weak muscles throughout her body (including her lungs tiring quickly), the puddle jumper has allowed her an extra safety feature when she is in the pool with us. But this summer when we opened our pool Phoebe announced proudly that this was going to be the year she learned to swim without her puddle jumper.
A mix of emotions always comes over us when Phoebe pushes herself to achieve certain goals. They are usually always goals we want to see her achieve, but there is also the nerves and worry that come with her body's inability to keep up with her mind, spirit and determination. But this was something Phoebe was determined to do, so we were going to do our best to see that she met this goal.
It was our first time in our pool this season when Phoebe proudly stepped off the ladder and into the water without her puddle jumper when she turned around and exclaimed "See mommy, I can touch the floor and my head is above water!" It was then I knew that she has been waiting for this moment, for when she was tall enough to stand in the pool with her head above water to attempt to swim on her own.
An adult is always right by her still, but she is on her way to swimming, as she says "like sissy and Natalie" (what she calls her older sisters)