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Learning to Swim,

NATURALLY | by Kerry McDonald

Last summer, when he was four, my older boy learned to swim. He never took lessons. He wasn’t coerced or cajoled. We didn’t encourage him to get his face wet or to kick his legs or make arm-circles in the water. Instead, we let him play. He spent much of the summer by a pool or lake or ocean, splashing and jumping, exploring and experimenting—most of the time with a life jacket on. He watched his older sister swim across the pool on her own, saw the fun she had diving underwater for various items and playing all sorts of made-up water games. He watched other kids playfully swimming and took it all in. And then one day at a pond, at the 14 | NATURAL MOTHER MAGAZINE

end of the season, he watched as a new friend, also age four, swam with out a life jacket, all by himself through and under the water, having a grand old time. Well, my big boy just had to try it, had to see what all this fun was about. And just like that, he could swim. Now, this summer, he’s a fish. From the moment he wakes up, he’s asking when we can go to the pool or the pond, and just before his eyes close at night, he’s asking how many more hours until we can return to the water. I think most of us would agree that we don’t just want our children to learn to read, we want them to love to read. We don’t just want them to learn math, we want them to love

Jul./Aug. 2015  
Jul./Aug. 2015