Author: Aidan Davis
For the first time in over three years with Aquatic Achievers, I walk through the front doors not as a teacher, but as a parent. A parent of a twelve-week old baby boy. It is a completely new experience. My partner, Amy, takes him into the water for his orientation lesson and I sit and watch and think. I look across the pool at the older children in their lessons and cannot comprehend how my little baby, in just a few short years, will grow from what he is now to a talking, laughing, walking, swimming human.
Amy and I take turns to dress him in his little swim nappy and swim shirt. We cuddle him as we hop in the water, taking precious care of only child. To see him in the water, exploring the new sensation, is like nothing else you can experience on land. You see your child react, adapt and learn within a completely new environment, comfortable in the safety of your arms. The warm water and relaxed atmosphere lets you distance yourself from the outside world and focus on what’s most important: you and your child, together in the water.
Week by week, we see him learning. We see his hands start to open to grab onto the wall, legs start to kick to stabilise him, mouth and eyes shut as his head submerges. He is more relaxed and comfortable in the water, and so are we. Reaching, grabbing, floating, comprehending and suddenly, he can do it. Now, nine months later, he has turned one and moved up a level from Squirts to Splashers.
He’s so different now than from what I remember him being. I was so close, week by week, I barely noticed the changes, like an artist painting stroke by stroke then finally taking a step back to reveal the completed painting. He has grown from the blank-canvas of a three-month old to an inquisitive, energetic and charismatic toddler. We were the ones to introduce them to this new world. We couldn’t be prouder, and wouldn’t give up these memories for anything else.