Kerri has SPD, and one of her sensory "issues" has always been this panic and fear of getting her face and eyes wet. It makes washing her hair a nightmare, and it has taken a very long time for her to work up the courage to go in a pool. When she does take a bath or go to the pool, she has to dry her face with a towel constantly. And the neighbor kids know better than to get her face wet, because Kerri instantly gets mad and scared at the same time, and yells or cries. That is, until Friday, when Kerri and her girls came to visit.
My daughter watched in awe as both J & J jumped into the pool, and went under water. And then she decided she had to work up the nerve to try putting her head under water. We took baby steps, but in a few hours Kerri was holding her breath with her face in the water completely. And then that progressed to jumping off a rung in the ladder holding my hand. By the end of the afternoon, Kerri was jumping into the pool by herself (going underwater and pushing herself back up). Over and over again.
So Saturday, Kerri wanted to show her Daddy what she could do. And he watched incredulously. I wish I had taken a picture of his face. To see his daughter not just jump in, but put her entire face under water on her own - without screaming, panicking, or asking for a towel. It was one of those moments that fill you with pride and wonder. We watched Kerri - on her very own and with hardly any encouragement from me- finally overcome her fear. It was even better than watching her take her first steps.
So we spent the entire day in the pool watching Kerri practice and swim under water (with the help of her personal flotation device). And ended the evening with a celebratory dinner nearby. It was perfect.
Life with Kerri is courageous.