Saturday night is float night at our pool. Failure to check the timing of the event (plus later than expected delivery of a dog we are watching for the next couple of weeks) meant that rather than being at the pool from 5 - 7 when floats were allowed in the pool, we were there from 6 - 8. This turned out to be amazingly lucky.
When float night ended, the kids set their enormous T-Rex float on the side of the pool, and I decided to swim a few laps. For whatever reason, this inspired the kids to swim laps with me. I don't tend to worry about Connor in the pool, but the idea that Helen would swim the length of the pool was almost unfathomable. Although I had thought she'd be swimming a year ago, she pretty much stalled out and hasn't seemed that into swimming.
Helen jumped in the water and started a very slow swim across the pool. She flipped to her back a couple of times and remembered to move her arms in "chicken, airplane, soldier" and she was steadily making progress. I only assisted her a couple of times. I was definitely impressed.
We got to the end of the lap lane, and Helen announced that she wanted to do it again. I told her if she was going to do it again, we were getting a lifeguard, because something inside me told me this kid was going to pass the swim test and become eligible for the diving board.
I accompanied her to the lifeguard table and made my ridiculous request. The lifeguard in charge looked at me as if I was crazy, and I shrugged and said "it might work out". And indeed, Helen swam the length of the pool. She flipped from front to back as needed, and twice she almost bumped into the side of the pool when she was going backwards, but she got herself off the wall and kept on moving, chanting "chicken, airplane, soldier". At one point, the lifeguard said "kick those feet", and Helen did. I started to get really excited when we were about 10 feet from the end of the pool. Helen was getting tired, but she flipped to her stomach and realized how close she was and swam to the end!
I can't even express how proud Helen was of her accomplishment. I think it took her by surprise. She's been telling me since the pool opened that she knows how to swim the length of the pool, but when I tell her she needs to show the lifeguards, she always declines "not now".
She then proceeded to jump off the board three times, and though Connor would later tell me he liked it when he was the only one who could use the diving board, he had a ball with her. Seems only fair that I missed her first solo jumps, given that I missed Connor's as well.
But now, I give you several of today's jumps. She apparently forgot how to swim between last night and today because I almost had a heart attack as I watched her try and get to the side. But she made it, every time.
Missing from this video is the moment when I came about 1 second away from diving in after Helen to fetch her out of the water, and the many times Connor tried to encourage her to do some sort of trick off the board.