moving to Hawaii, swimming has taken on a whole new meaning us. if you live on an island and don't know how to swim, I would think you had better learn!!
when we first got here, Samuel was very timid. he'd go in but never past where he can't touch, unless his arms were wrapped around your neck. he wouldn't put his head underwater. he was fearful of the waves crashing, and wouldn't go past them. he has been exposed to water every summer of his life; I even took him for "swimming lessons" at 6mos to get him comfortable, but he still needed more time.
he did get some courage when he wore his life jacket. he liked that he could go to the deep end just float, in the pool and in the ocean. not being so worried about sinking, he did figure out that using his arms and legs helped him move around. with that, he gained even more courage.
then one day, we said no more life jacket. yes the waves will knock you down. yes you will go under.
we are firm believers in learning things "the hard way," or in my opinion, the most real-life way. and can I add, I very much dislike parents that soften every single obstacle for their child(ren). I understand wanting your child to stay inside a bubble so they won't get hurt ... but that's not life. their bubble will burst at some point. I think its much more valuable to teach them how to get up after they fall, not just keep them from falling. but I digress ...
when the life jacket left, we added a mask. at first he'd just put his face in the water so he could see, but then practically overnight, it was his whole head, then his whole body. he was diving to the bottom in no time. gaining vision gave him all the confidence in the world, however, not having that life jacket anymore also gave him a healthy dose of fear of what water can do.
now at the pool, he's doing cannonballs at the deep end. at the ocean, he's learned the pattern of the waves and goes in with perfect timing ... or if he's too excited, he'll jump right into the wave. its so awesome to watch him!
but just when I thought all I had to worry about is drowning, I now also have to worry about him drinking the water.
2 weeks ago (a day before his birthday) Sam was throwing up every 1/2 hr or so. couldn't keep anything down. Eli had it too a few days earlier, then I got it a few days later, so we all assumed it was the flu. but yesterday was another pukey day for Sam; fever, no appetite and throwing up anyway, long naps, chills, sweats ... not fun for anyone. so far, the rest of us are ok.
the only thing we can think of that links all this puking together is swimming at the pool. I've been doing some research and found multiple sites with this same information. something to note: chlorine doesn't kill everything!
just the thought of ingesting someone else's poop is enough to make me not want to ever go back to a swimming pool ... guess its a good thing we're in Hawaii and have plenty of beaches to choose from.
if you have any other ideas, let me know.
ps. Morgan, is this what makes a saltwater pool better?