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Thursday, June 18, 2009


Henry had the same fear of water in his face until two days ago. We got him a big pair of goggles that covers eyes and nose and he dipped his head in the pool and bath water to try it out. He also took a shower for the first time with goggles. Then during his second shower he took the goggles off on his own initiative and discovered a shower was better without goggles. It was stunning to us after 4 years of crying over hair washings to have him singing and dancing and GARGLING with the water going directly ON HIS FACE in the shower.

We did the goggle thing, too, but it didn't work. I think the only thing that really worked was him getting older and a sense of competition with his sister.

On hair, I worked out a system that kept the crises to a minimum.

I have a fear of water, especially large bodies of water I can't see very far down in. Pools don't bother me, but lakes do, and I refuse to get in the ocean.

I also am an excellent swimmer. My parents put me in swimming lessons too and much to the irritation of many, many swim instructors, I refused to put my face in the water properly. BUT I felt like swim lessons were a win for me because while I was scared of drowning, being a capable swimmer makes the water less daunting.

Now, at 28, I'm starting to train for triathlons. Which means I really need to learn how to do this breathing thing. (I can do a mean wall turn, but I couldn't swim with my face in properly...) So I am taking swim lessons from a friend who teaches kids. I, for the first time ever, swam the whole length of the pool, goggles on, breathing properly.

What helps me is the science of it and an awareness that the awful tight pressure feeling I get in my chest is all in my head and not b/c of the water. If Seth wants to get past his fear one day, he will.

Being empowered by my mother, and then by my continued lessons at Girl Scout camp, allowed me to become a great swimmer - which helps a lot. At least I have some control over my relationship with the water. You can never beat the water, but you can work with it.

I'll let you know how it goes when I do a practice swims in the lake this summer. I'm nervous, but determined.

Good luck w/ Seth. :)

Thanks for sharing!

BTW, I had a fear of water until I was about 7 or so, when a great instructor finally got me to put my face in the water. After that, I was totally fearless.

I think it's great that you're doing triathlons!

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