Sunday, September 9, 2012

Water Babies

(this is the first in a series of posts about my water babies. here's part two, part three and part four)

I'm sitting here on the deck watching my water babies swim....

My children don't swim like others I've seen-- half afraid, excited screams, tentative forays into deeper water followed by squealing retreats to the steps. My children return each day to the pool as into the arms of a lover; or perhaps a world traveler, returning to the country of his birth-- here is their Familiar, this water is their First World.

All three of them were born in the water, their improbably small and impossibly-large-at-the-same-time bodies struggling out into the birthing pool. The harsh but necessary expulsion from their warm, wet cocoon softened, delayed, made more gradual, bearable, by this detour on their way Out. I had the joy of Pharoh's daughter as I Moses-ed each one up into my arms.  
 Welcome to the big dry world, my water child.

I think that those tiny seconds of delay between womb and world has left each of my children some sort of vestigial umbilicus to the world of the Deep.

When they get into the pool, they at first seperate- each to their own corner-- no loud shouts just yet, no games, no splashing. They dive, down down, they swerve and somersault and dart from side to side. Their returns earthside for quick sips of air are so fleeting, so seamless, I sometimes wonder if I'm really seeing it, are they actually stopping to breathe? Or have they somehow grown gills in the night? Are they breathing water, not air? Only the trail of bubbles, all  I see of them as they dive down the deep end till they are merely shadows trailing the bottom...

...only the bubbles tell me there is human life in the pool.

I can see them, sometimes, under the water, eyes wide open, hair floating smooth and silky-- tangle-free for once, no longer daubed with peanut butter, dirt, paint, or any other myriad experiences of the day. Their moods seem to untangle in the water, too. They move oh-so gracefully, a slow languid swoop of arm or torso, or a whole body twists and turns in undulations, dolphin-like. The slow peaceful underwater movement of body somehow unraveling the cares of the Solid and the Dry.


Joy @ Joy in this Journey said...

I could smell the chlorine and hear the laughter and remember how the water felt when I was that carefree child in the pool. Lovely writing.

AllisonO of O My Family said...

This is absolutely beautiful. Thank you for sharing this moment and this part of your family's life. You are a talented writer.

septembermom said...

This was poetic in many ways. Beautiful...thanks for sharing.

Amber Cadenas said...

Oh, I love this. I was born in Phoenix, and I don't remember a time I didn't swim - head down, gliding beneath the water, from one end to the other in one breath - acting out all kinds of imaginative things. This is so precious that your kids are like this. It makes me think, should I have the opportunity one day, I may need to have a water birth as well :-)