The Life Aquatic

Hey there.

So Daphne is in full swing with her summer regimen. On Mondays she has speech therapy, and I wish there was more to report on that front. Sadly, there hasn’t been a whole lot in the way of movement there. In fact, yesterday was one of the worst vocal stimming days we’ve heard in a while. (For those unaware, kids with autism often make a constant noise while playing/handling things. In Daphne’s case, it sounds like a sustained “uhhhhhhhhh, uhhhhhhhhhh.” This is referred to as “stimming,” a derivative of “stimulus.”)

However, in entirely brighter news, she’s also started swimming lessons.

She goes 4 days a week to the local Texas Swim Academy and she’s doing fantastically. She loves going underwater, she’s getting to the point where she can float on her back by herself, and today she actually kicked and moved her arms underwater for a short way to reach the side of the pool. And all this after just 2 weeks.

The Texas Swim Academy itself is a great little facility, although if we’re being totally honest here I do find the biblical graffiti that’s scrawled all over the walls (in paint pen) a little unsettling. But that’s a tiny issue; the instructors there have been really great.

Honestly, the hardest parts about these swim lessons have been:

1. Getting her to wait in the lobby beforehand. She takes my hand, walks me over to the glass door that leads into the natatorium, and points forcefully at the pool as if to say “Dad. Seriously. What are we doing just standing here? The pool is right there. I’m already in my swimsuit. Do I have to spell this out for you?”

“Come ON! Let’s do this!”

2. Consoling her once they’re over. Each daily session is only 15 minutes long, which goes by in a blink. And when her instructor tells her what a great job she did and that it’s time to get out of the pool, there are often a few tears and protestations. Hey, the little girl loves to swim.

Not today though. Today she wanted to dole out the wet pool hugs.

And better that than the howling shrieks of the other little ones we’ve encountered there, who have ZERO interest in being dunked underwater.

The other great part about these lessons is that we decided to do this as a family. So all of us get in the car every day to drive over to the Swim Academy together. Not only is it huge amounts of fun to watch Daph in the pool, it forces us to get up, get dressed, and get out of the house each day. Whereas otherwise, there isn’t much of a call for such things right now…what with me unemployed and Jen on her summer break.

We’ve gone through enough school breaks to know that if you don’t get up, get going, and do something every day, the summer rockets right by and Jen feels like she missed it, or didn’t make the most of it. So having a daily errand/to-do is a really good thing.

And finally, I want to wish a happy 11th birthday to one Señor Jib.

It was 11 years ago today that I drove him from the cage at the SPCA, and brought him home to my little garage apartment in the Heights, where we became the bestest of friends.

I’d had him about 6 weeks when this picture was taken.

Happy birthday my Jibbous.

Okay, see you guys soon.

j.s.

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