Bowen has been working at one thing, very hard, all summer. He wanted to swim one length of our pool. If he could do this, he could swim in his first official swim meet. Bowen has participated in competitions through the DAAA in the past, but he was dying to become part of our local swim club’s swim team this year. So, we put him on Little Dolphins, the junior portion of our local swim team.
He worked so hard. His body mechanics made it really hard for him to learn to swim. His torso is average sized, his arms and legs are short, and his head is actually larger than average. This makes for the need to compensate in the water in ways that don’t fit with how children are typically taught to swim. His swim teachers let him compensate. He does a modified frog kick and front crawl with a dog paddle to breathe. It’s not as efficient as it could be, and we’re sure it’s not legal, but that’s what God made ‘freestyle’ for.
Bowen has been struggling lately. He wants SO badly to be “normal.” Oh, Bo. We’re so far from normal. SO far. You’re one of eleven loud, raucous and conspicuous children. We spend our days being stared at. At any given moment someone in our house is naked (God willing, someone under the age of 5). Someone is always dancing (hopefully NOT the naked one). We now speak nearly completely with our hands. And, we are usually a hot damn mess.
We’re never going to be normal.
But, we love you. And, we’ll always be there cheering for you.
As you paddle your way down the pool.
Even when it’s beastly hot outside.
We’ll always be there.
If you have 90 seconds of your life to spare, you can hear the cheering for yourself right here. We love our community pool. If you are local to us, you won’t find a more inclusive setting for your kids to learn to swim. They welcome, and protect, all children, and I mean ALL children.
You’ll have to excuse the videography, 12-year-old boys are easily distracted.
You’ll also notice that my photos are watermarked. They’ve been ending up in odd places again, including in spaces on Twitter that promote hate of children with brown skin and physical differences. These photos are my property. I hate to get heavy handed about it, but my photos are marked now, and my photography business is incorporated. So, if you steal these photos and post them anywhere without my permission, I will sue you.
Don’t mess with this mama’s babies.
I’m not going to stop speaking because you have a heart full of hate. My family is going to continue living our lives. We are proud of who we are.
–FullPlateMom, who can’t wait to see what Bowen does next.