Teaching herself to swim

Namine taught herself to swim at Disney World.

Namine’s relationship with water has been… let’s say, a complicated one. When she was two, she had a pretty bad experience at a water park. Water was dumped on her and we ended up having to take her to the ER. That frightening experience colored her perception of water for quite a long time.

In spite of that fear, Namine retained her love of baths; it was water parks and splash zones which she held in distaste. However, she (re)discovered a love of water parks — pools, especially — a few years later.

Splash zones typically have a zero-clearance area, like a beach, allowing Namine to crawl in to the depth with which she’s comfortable. Once it gets too deep to crawl, she would hold on to my hands and walk. She can’t walk on her own, but in the water, she can with little support. And she loves it.

The trouble has always been in the deeper water where she can’t touch the floor. The deep-seated fear which she’s never forgotten takes hold, and combined with her limited leg movement, has proven to be too much for her to handle. Until now.

As has been her habit, Namine decided she would no longer be afraid of the water. She told me, while we were swimming, that she wanted to try it on her own. “But stay right there,” she said. “I probably still need help.” I assured her that I wasn’t going anywhere.

So Namine let go, tentatively at first. She treaded water on her own, laughing all the while. She was quite proud of herself — as she has every right to be.

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