Today I took my boy swimming. A year ago this wouldn’t have been possible without a meltdown. He used to hate changing rooms. I never knew why a changing room could be so terrifying to my boy, but he used to scream and shake with anxiety. I think it was the noise, the echo, the wet floors.
But today we went. And I told him, Oscar – we are going swimming. And it was like he knew, because he wasn’t anxious. He knew the deal – we got changed and he happily went in to the pool. He didn’t cling on to me, compared to when we went a few weeks ago when he screamed and cried in the changing room and then cried a bit more in the pool and anxiously held on to me whilst nervously singing “the wheels on the bus” over and over again.
He actually had fun. I mean, proper fun. He didn’t want me to hold him. He splashed and laughed and squealed “baaaaada” (Swedish for swimming) and jumped of the edge of a pool. My heart was full of joy.
It’s the little things, like taking my boy swimming and seeing him being unafraid, happy and adventurous that makes me so grateful. Grateful for how far we have come in just a few months. His reduced level of anxiety is, in my opinion, directly related to his improved understanding of language. I feel he understands us now. I can tell him things like “we are going to the swimming pool” and he gets it. Yesterday I asked him if he wanted to go to the cafe for juice and he say “yes!”. I mean – we are communicating, he is starting to tell us that he understands us – this is a huge improvement.
And today, after swimming – he picked up a Christmas decoration that he found in a drawer , looked at me and said “star”, because it was indeed a star.
Oh my dear boy. You are our star. Because we know that you struggle a little bit more than other kids. And it’s not easy, but you keep on trying. And I am so, so proud of you.