First let me explain the sequence of events that led us to ISR.
Prior to Christian's accident I had thought about getting him swim lessons. I had heard about babies being able to swim even before turning one year old.
Then at the end of last year, about five months after the accident right around the time Lola was born I received an email from an ISR instructor who, along with all the other ISR instructors in Tucson, offered to donate ISR services to Lola. The instructor was sensitive in her offering and I could tell she was a little nervous about approaching me, not knowing how I would react to the offer.
I couldn't be more grateful. This is why:
You all know where I'm coming from, right? Especially if you've been following us since the beginning. Along the path of this journey I have met many families that have experienced near drownings under the care of others, under their own care, with fences, without fences, with fences that knocked over, with block walls, with gates that were pushed open by a family pet, the list goes on. So I wasn't about to stand up and give all credence to barrier protection, because although it can prevent a drowning, barrier protection can fail.
But I can say that I truly believe in ISR. It helps an infant use instinctual movements to learn how to float. It is literally a life saving program. I believe in this program because even if supervision fails, even if a physical barrier fails, this is a skill a child has when all else fails. The ISR program actually has a 100% success rate. That's right, 100%. I could go on and on but you can check out ISR by clicking here. I don't like to play the what if game but I can say with confidence that if Christian had these skills before the accident, I can't help but think things would have been different.
The first day we arrived at our instructor, Pam's, pool, I was a little disheveled, a little disorganized, probably late - pretty much how the chips usually fall. I was a little nervous about the whole thing, but I think Pam was more nervous than I was. Lola cried, she screamed, actually. But it really only took one lesson to appreciate the process. Some parents are afraid of crying, but I'm not one of those parents. Ever since we went without Christian crying, or even vocalizing, for months, I have an appreciation for it. And Lola, well she takes the cake when it comes to hysterics so I'm already well broken in.
And, you know, the thing is that a crying child isn't a drowning child. It's plain and simple. When children are drowning they don't cry. So if your child is crying and floating in a situation where they've fallen into water, it's a good thing. I say bring on the crying, I wanna hear more of it.
Others are concerned that it may be traumatizing to the infants to go through such an intense program. To that I would ask - You know what's even more traumatizing? Drowning.
And you know what? Lola did scream. But with each lesson there was more confidence, less crying, more floating, and even some Look Mom! I can do it! smiles.
It was a beautiful gift that ISR instructor offered us from the Tucson ISR team. Pam and Tracy, I consider you great friends of ours and a profound piece of this journey.
Okay, I'll stop gushing.
I'm still waiting on video approval and it will be great because I have video from when she first started until now and it's really amazing.
For now, here are some pictures of Lola - my little floater!
Trying to smile and float at the same time.
Floating on her own.
"I can do it, Mom!"
It's all good.