A story I have told many times this past two weeks goes like this....
Once Holly was 4 and she discovered YouTube one day together we found the video of a little girl swimming in her backyard pool and she was a mermaid!
Holly whom I've always referred to as my little fishy was obsessed! She had been in the pool since 4 months old and mermaids were her favorite, in the days before Elsa and Anna, it was Ariel who ran supreme! So of course she wanted a tale too... For days she would say... "I wish I could have a tale too" so one day whether I was frustrated from her asking for the 190th time, or perhaps it was because she would not put her face under water in swim class... I relented!
"If you learn to swim on your own all the way across the pool, when you turn 7 you can have a mermaid tale!"
Why 7 you ask? Who knows... Maybe it was because the girl in the video looked about 7.. (Watching it now she looks about 10) Or maybe it was because 7 was almost twice her current age.. Or because It was a number so far off that I figured I'd never really have to worry about this again... My little preschooler, my darling 4 year old will never be 7 that's a big kid, that is a million years away!
And so slowly she put her face under water, she learned to do glides, she was floating on her own. She progressed through the levels in swim class... Other things came and went, ice skating, ballet, tap, gymnastics, music, but swimming was her constant.
Once last summer she told me she was swimming across the pool. She actually stopped about 1/2 way across to breathe but then kept going. I didn't make the connection then but just assumed she had a goal to get across the pool, so when we started swimming again in the fall reciprocal breathing was her goal. And around Christmas she made it across the pool.
Little did I know all those years ago that it would take her three years to reach her goal, little did I know the drive or determination she would have, little did I know she would even remember... Then 1 day in January (thank goodness) she showed me the tale she wanted for her birthday.
Suddenly it all came rushing back the promise I made to that little 4 year old oh so long ago!
She turned 7 last week, and she can swim across the pool.. So for her birthday she got her Mermaid tale! I look at her now so grown up! I can't believe she is 7 already and so much time has passed and how amazing she is. But swimming in the pool with that little 4 year old feels both like yesterday and a lifetime ago! How can it feel so long and so short at the same time!
I'm greatful however now at 7 she is grown up enough to be able to learn to swim in her mermaid tale but still little enough to believe in its magic!
Here is Holly jumping into the pool for the first time:
Here is her maiden voyage:
Here she is flipping around like a fish!
Since we can not go to the pool everyday here she is trying it out in the tub.
And just lounging around the house:
She might not stay 7 forever but she will always be my little mermaid!