Yes, the guilt has finally set in. It's a little after midnight and I've crawled out of my place in bed to come and write. Part of it is guilt, but most of it is that I'm going to completely forget most of the little details that I've been trying to capture and store up to write about. :)
The kids have definitely been enjoying the summer. Two weekends ago, we spent some time in Ashland for Father's Day. Brad was able to get away to go golfing for a change, which I really hope he enjoyed and hope he gets to do again soon. The kids and I, on the other hand, enjoyed the pool (Brad did too, as you can see below, after he golfed!). Brad and I could not be luckier... we both LOVE the water. We could stay all day in or around the pool, lake, or ocean and never grow tired of it. Thank God our kids are like us. I just have to say that it is so nice!
Bailey, always a little more timid than her fearless brother, does not like to go under and does not like to have her face in the water, but she can swim. She has been swimming with a life jacket since last summer. If she would just get a little braver and a little less nervous, she could easily swim without any assistance. These were the thoughts going through my mind at mom's a couple of weeks ago. So, we introduced "swimmies" or arm floats (as shown below) to her. After a little bit of hesitance, Bailey was in the water with her swimmies and no life jacket. If only she'd go under... I could have her swimming and going off the board by the end of summer.
Jake, on the other hand, has no fear of water. The first few times we went swimming, he was unsure. Well... not anymore. Jake would swim without me, if I would let him. We had been getting him in the water without any life saving devices, simply holding him, because we couldn't find life jackets that fit just right. He started with just sticking his face in the water every now and then. Then, it became blowing bubbles or drinking the water. Now, the kid puts his face in, mouth closed, just for the fun of it. And he now wears swimmies and swims alone. Trust me, don't touch him... he'll just shove you away and yell. :) I've had so many flashbacks of my youngest brother, Colt, learning to swim at the same age that I have actually called Jake Colt on accident at least 10 times.
Which brings me to my first little water baby. Colt's 17th birthday was on the 21st. Seventeen. Unless you have a sibling who is at least 10 years younger than you (or unless you are Cory), you wouldn't understand how strange this is for me. I can remember everything about his life - every little stage that I write about for Bailey and Jake, I remember watching Colt go through. Of course, I was a kid and didn't cherish all of those moments the way I do with my kids now... but it's really hard to think that it was 16+ years ago when I was teaching Colt to swim and watching his love for the water grow like I see it happening with Bailey and Jake. I realize how fast it goes by when I look at him. I can't imagine how I'm going to feel when Bailey and Jake are turning 17. I can only hope that I'm as proud of my two kids as I am of my two brothers. Cory is one of the most wonderful men I've ever been around. Despite all of his crazy ways, he's turned out to be a great fiance and an amazing stepdad. I'll have to write a whole other blog about him. :) And Colt is one of those kids that just get it. Yep... he's a teenager, but he has it all going for him. I enjoy being around him more and more every time we get together - not as his older sister, but as his friend. Maybe it's because he really has so much of my personality. :) lol...
Anyway, just as a point of reference... here are a couple of photos of Colt - one of my favorites when he was just a baby in the pool (I think it was his 2nd birthday) and one of him with Cory at our cousin's wedding last fall.
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