Saturday, October 10, 2009

THE MEASURE OF INDEPENDENCE

Took Saia to a birthday party at a local swim club. Two seconds after arriving, she'd run into the changing room and was heading for the deep end of the pool where three of her favorite friends were, including the birthday girl. My arms still loaded down with gifts, changing bag, purse, and camera, I scanned the area for the rest of the parents, who were all the way on the other side of the park, and walked over to the side of the pool completely unprepared for what she was about to do.

The little girls, obviously very strong swimmers, were lemming-like plunging off the high dive, easily swimming over to the ladder, and circling back for their next dive. And I remember standing there with my mouth agape at how gracefully they dove, how confidently they cannonballed, how...WHAT THE?!?!? SAIA?????!!!!

And off she went.

And it's not that she can't swim, but she's never ever been off of a diving board before. And that first jump, feet first, had to have sent her at least 6ft down before she realized what was going on and how far away the surface was. And the lifeguard must've seen the look on my face right about that time because he stood up in his chair and gave me the nod -- you know, the you got her? or am gonna actually have to earn my pay today nod? But I was squatting by the edge of the pool now, peering down through the ripples, prepared of course to jump in, high heels and all, should she not come up smiling. But as this was her first big girl party with kids at the new school, I also didn't want to embarrass her unnecessarily. Nothing says, why yes, I do have a crazy overbearing, overprotective, neurotic mother than having her jump into the pool after you fully clothed for no reason at all. Why do you ask?

And when she surfaced, she did look a little frazzled, and seemed to struggle slightly getting to the ladder. But she climbed out and immediately started heading back towards the board.

"Saia?" I called. But she already had her hands on the rail.

"Saia!"

"Yes, Mom?!" she said frustratingly.

"Just one more time, okay?" and I nodded at her as much for me as for the lifeguard who was obviously getting annoyed at having to stand for longer than the 5 minutes it takes to change stations.

"Okay, Mama!" she smiled. And off she went.

1 comment:

Sonia said...

Holy cow! Good for her! (And for you, for staying in your heels at the side of the pool.)