Water is important to me, and I always dreamt that ran in my blood and I would pass it down to my child. From before Harry was out breathing air, he experienced the ocean. During warm months I’m at the beach three, four, sometimes five days a week, and I visit even during the cold. When I was pregnant I rocked my bikini every day I wasn’t working – friends joked that Harry had a good chance of being born on the beach! I would head into the water and swim or float until my fingers pruned. I would feel Harry gently drifting in my belly, quiet and calm. It was and always has been my happy place.
Harry was born in September but despite my best efforts we didn’t make it to the beach when he was very young. We made a couple of trips to the beach in April, but it never truly warmed up for us. In May when Harry was around eight months old, we traveled to Hawai’i for vacation and to visit my Dad, Harry’s Pop-pop. Harry’s first dip in the ocean was in Waikiki and he just loved it!
Now I can barely keep the man out of the water. I was at the beach with a friend the other day and I joked that there are two kinds of kids – sand kids and water kids. Hers wanted to play in the sand, mine refused to leave the water. We try to get in the water as much as we can, mostly the ocean and recently we’ve discovered the amazing draw of the splash park. Both are hard to pull him away from! Yesterday we went to Sesame Place, one of our favorite places. Harry loves the splash area, but I have to walk with him everywhere in case he loses his balance. For the first time I got some states. When Harry walks he has an adorable wiggle. I call it the Harry swagger. He also rests his chin on his chest due to his neck instability. This is the one thing I wish I could help him fix. It causes him some danger, as he’s not looking where he is going effectively, and draws attention, which is the lesser concern. I love him just the way he is, but I want him safe.
The one thing we haven’t mastered is the pool. I don’t know how to get him in happily and safely. Recently, my neighbor with a pool expressed interest in helping us. I had told her that my doctors recommend swim therapy, but I have yet to be successful with that. We have met twice now and she’s developing exercises for Harry (she’s an old swim instructor). I’ll keep you posted.
So get out there and enjoy the water. Go find a tide pool! I’m certain there is nothing better in this world than an empty tide pool.