Boo... I missed my daughter V swimming on her own (with help of arm floats) in the pool from one edge to another for the first time. I missed her reaching out to the edge and turning back for more. I missed her covering the length and the breadth. I missed the splish splash. I miss the look on the proud father. I missed the excited voice of the little one. I missed a milestone.
But But But... on the bright side, I got to hear about it from both of them. They entered the house dripping of the pool water and V enacted how she swam on her own. I saw Sumit's excitement when he relayed the details to me. I could sense reservation in him telling me… Since I'd be all "Oh No.. I missed it. Damn!"
But I was not. Surprisingly. I was thrilled that the father-daughter duo sharing the milestone together. Just like I had with my father guiding me along when I learned swimming at the tender age of four!
I remember him taking us to the pool and literally telling us- jump in. I did, I remember him drawing an imaginary line in the pool and saying, no going beyond that. I remember him, holding my finger, teaching me how to breathe, lifting me by the belly to stay afloat. He explained the physics of swimming, bought my first costume, made me forgo the ring, the float, teaching me… my favorite activity- swimming.
He continued this while we grew up. He'd wake us each morning around 5:45 and literally drag us to the pool all groggy eyed before breakfast and school. We would drag him Sunday evenings to the pool and feast on the Ice Creams after. I would challenge him; try to swim faster than him. My brother and I would compete - who can keep their heads in water for longer. My father would teach us the new strokes, new techniques. Even now, when I go back to India, my dad and I ensure to hit the pool a few times.
V is still too young to remember this day! But, hopefully in a few years, she will be able to read this and cherish the evening when her father taught her a very important lesson- to stay afloat, to overcome the fears, to be independent and above all - "to swim like a fishy"!
Note: Since I was not there last night to take a picture... here is an older one of hers with the life vest a couple of months ago. Big step to get out of vest and only with arm floats for a 2 years 6 months old toddler!