Our pool has been opened since April 18th. After a rocky winter, it was time for Hunter and Hayley to get outside. Their favorite thing to do is swim in the pool. Even though it was still chilly outside, the pool is heated and the kids don’t mind the cool air so both have been swimming since April.
While Hunter and Hayley are in the pool, I collapse in a chair and am able to breathe again. The water has such a calming effect on them but especially for Hayley. She has a swimming program in school so Hayley knows how to swim and dive off the diving board. The one problem is she has no fear so I need to keep a close eye on her. Hayley could have been having tantrums in the house yet when I say “who wants to go in the pool, Hayley starts running for her bathing suit. When we get up to the pool Hayley immediately dives in, she is instantly calm and in total bliss. She loves to swim underwater, I think it is the pressure the water puts on her body that Hayley enjoys. Hayley is very sensory oriented and even out of the pool she will ask for pressure on a certain part of the body, usually her head. Now don’t get me wrong, if I bring out the wrong color ice-pop, she WILL freak out, pool or no pool.
Hunter loves swimming too. He taught himself to swim when he was a toddler. He is not a big diving board person so he doesn’t jump in the pool often but he loves to swim and play chasing games in the pool with Daddy. It’s exciting because this is the first year that Hayley wants to participate in these games and actually laughs and has fun appropriately. This is a HUGE step for her. It is the little milestones Hayley makes that can make me cry, but they are tears of joy.
Last Sunday was a tough day for Hayley so I brought them in the pool. It wasn’t the best weather, but I was desperate. Little Nova got to go to the pool too, although she chased squirrels instead of swimming. Hunter spent most of his time in the hot tub playing with his dinosaurs and Hayley, after jumping and diving in the pool about 100 times, laid on her big sunflower float and fell asleep. Now I was in total bliss.
I am thankful we have a pool and are able to keep it opened for an extended period of time. It is very hard to find things for kids with Autism to do that they really, really enjoy. Sometimes if it’s really hot I will float in the pool on a noodle but would rather sit and read.
It is the times when I watch Hunter and Hayley playing in the pool that I see typical children playing, not ones that have a disability. I take these times and savor them……….