"And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” ― Marianne Williamson
Since she hadn't been to a pool since she was an infant, basically, I wanted to start slow with Maeve and give her as much information ahead of time as possible. I remembered a Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood episode where Daniel's mom drew him a picture of what the doctor's office would look like, and talked him through all the steps of visiting the doctor. So I pulled up a photo of the tot area of the pool we were going to visit and talked Maeve through the process of swimming at the rec.
She was so excited to go, although she was weirded out about wearing her swimsuit and coverup in her carseat. So we threw on some pants, just to help. When we got to the rec, Maeve was busy telling the desk lady how excited she was to swim and how we were going to have SO MUCH FUN. But by the time we'd put our stuff in our locker, she had informed me she wasn't going to swim at all.
I held her for awhile and walked her around the pool area. The only time I had to put my foot down was actually putting her feet in the water. But after that, we went very slowly, getting into the water a little at a time. It was almost excruciatingly slow, but we weren't in a hurry. And pretty soon, Maeve was splashing around in the water all by herself, even going down the kiddie slide! I couldn't hold myself back, I just kept telling her over and over how proud of her I was.
I know all kids go through these things, and it seems lame to be so excited, but when you have a kid for whom new things are very difficult, this kind of victory is worth celebrating. I wish I had a pic of her at the pool, but my camera is not waterproof! So I'll just show you a cute one.