|Gryffin 'swimming' on my back -- this is my favorite picture of myself, go Erik!|
Gryffin has had a slightly different journey into the deep end. G has always been scarily fearless about the water. At 6 months, while in vacation Florida, he crawled directly into the ocean up to his chin & would have kept going if I hadn't grabbed him back. He was that toddler that walked off the steps of the pool into water over his head. His preferred way to play at Walden was in water up to his chin, walking on tip-toes to keep his head above water. Unlike Sky, he didn't really like being held out in deep water (although he'd swim on my back for a bit). At swim classes last spring Gryffin figured out that he could swim independent of adults, with just a noodle under his arms - I wish I could duplicate in writing the sound of his delighted squeal. Imagine a very roo-like "look at me swimming!".
Even more exciting was the moment this summer Gryffin started swimming "for real". Gryffin taught himself to swim at Walden on a rare visit when Skyler was in camp, so just the two of us were at the pond. I was on the phone embroiled in a very intense conversation with my sister, while vaguely keeping an eye on Gryffin. I noticed him bringing his large bucket out into the water where he turned it upside down and jumped off. It took me an embarrassingly long time to notice, but eventually it occurred to me that he was jumping off the bucket and swimming for about 4 feet. In a nice tidy dog paddle. Well, that was the beginning & now he swims comfortably for about 10 feet before needing to put his feet down or grab onto my shoulder. He's working on his diving and his back float. He's had his first experience swimming independently in the ocean (playing a frightening for mama game called "rescue", where he dumped himself - without warning - off of his boogie board and would fight the waves to swim to me or Sky).