She propels herself through the water; head down, body sleek, arm over, then through, the water. Legs kicking, not splashing. Concentration creating flow. Grace, strength and power creating movement that looks effortless. Her head glances to the side; face just visible, to catch a breath before turning back to join the water.
I am watching, rapt. The noise of other people becoming a background thrum as I soak up the sight of my girl swimming lengths of the pool. Confident, strong strokes that I have not seen before and couldn’t replicate myself. No looking round and seeking approval, no searching to see if I’m watching. I can’t believe I’ve got the chance to see this. I can’t believe I am her mother.
I want to phone my husband, to tell him what I can see and that I wish he was here, but for once in my life I resist the urge to grab my phone and try instead to soak up every last microscopic detail of the moment.
The swimming instructor is pacing alongside the pool in time with her and he pauses as he sees me. “Bet you didn’t know she could do that eh? Look at her go.”
He walks on, and I watch. There she goes.
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