Admittedly, after that very first bath, he never did seem to mind the water and with each passing week, it was obvious he loved it.
For his first summer, we bought a little pool for our backyard that we’d sit in. He’d splash and splash and then pull himself up on the side and show off that cute little tooshie. The following fall and winter, we spent many days at the YMCA’s indoor pool. His dad or I holding him and getting him used to going under. He came up from each dunking with a big smile on his little face. Zealand was born that winter and we had him in the pool at just 6 weeks. Zac was holding onto Luke and I had Zealand in my arms. We hadn’t even been in the pool for 5 minutes and I look down at my baby; his head comfortably laid back in the palm of my hand, floating on the water, blissfully asleep. There was no doubt he’d be a lover of water!
Flash forward to a year and a half in Charleston, South Carolina. Our pool was just steps from our front door. To say we swam six days a week, sometimes twice a day, for almost 5 months straight would be pretty close to the truth. Our days in SC began with Luke in his swim vest and Zealand in a shaded float. By the end of summer ’11, Luke was swimming free between mine and Zac’s arms. He dared to jump off of his dad’s shoulders into the water and off the sides of the pool.
Our pool here in FL opening about six weeks ago. In that time, I truly cannot believe what I’m seeing. Luke, as of three days ago, is swimming the length of the pool. All on his own. With Zac on one end, me on the other; we are sure to stay close enough to catch him if we need to, but far enough to encourage his swimming independence. He’ll swim under water and come up for air. When he reaches the end, he beams.
While Luke’s been readying himself for the 2024 Summer Olympics (see video below!), Zealand has gone from his swim vest to a free man. He is now swimming between Zac and I – I’d say he can swim a good 3-feet now; no doubt in a rush to catch up to his big brother. And this swimming is paying off in the calm days in the gulf, they really can’t get enough and show no fear.
Zac and I constantly hear “Looks like you got your hands full.” from other pool patrons. (And if you have seen any of my Facebook comments about this statement, you know how I feel about it!) But what can I say? We’re proud. Yes, our hands are full this summer and there will be little laying poolside with a good book or realistically anything poolside since these little fish of mine want to stay in the water as long as possible. But I’m excited about this and for them. So very proud of my little boys. Maybe having that “Under the Sea” mural in their nursery really got into their soul after all.