Last summer, while on vacation at a Jellystone Campground, Ben started to let go of me in the pool. He wore a life vest in 2 1/2 feet of water and by the last day, he was pushing me away and standing in the water unassisted for short periods of time - a few seconds at the most.
This year, we joined an aquatic center with a special indoor therapeutic pool. I figured by the end of this summer, Ben would walk in the water while holding on to the rails.
Once again, the stinker proved me wrong.
We went to the aquatic center twice during Memorial Day weekend, just a week ago. Ben screamed in joy every minute of the 5 hours total we spent there. He sat in about one foot of water and watched everyone play. He moved around a bit by crawling and scooting.
This Sunday, he insisted on leading Kim, the community staff person, to the 3ft area. (big kudos to Kim, because the water was icy). There were many boys his age swimming around and goofing off. They definitely were the impetus for him wanting to go over to the deeper water.
Kim caught my eye, and said I needed to come over there.
Ben was standing in the middle of the pool, on his own, and then he walked the 5-6 feet to the edge. He continued to do this for the next hour or so with only two breaks for snacks. He did not have physical help from anyone, and he was not even in the therapeutic pool with the rails.
His smile was huge. I can only imagine the independence he felt.
So that's three days into swimming. Summer has not even started. What will this boy do next?
No photos or video to offer as proof because I was not expecting Ben to surprise us all on the 3rd visit to the pool. You will have to take my word for it - grandparents and Kim will vouch as well.