He loves to swim and will spend hour upon hour in the water, if allowed.
In the water all of the jangly awkwardness that comes hand-in-hand with his autism just falls away.
He is fast, sleek, joyful.
That little extra layer of fat on him that puts him in between regular and "husky' sizes? Is just the right kind of insulation for hours in a cool lake or pool.
When Ethan must get out, shivering with blue lips, Jacob is still splashing away.
Ethan will stomp around proclaiming to the heavens how unfair it is that Jake can stay in the water so much longer than he can, and how utterly horrible it is that Jake finds it much easier to float, too.
When I can stand it no longer I quietly ask him if he'd really like to trade places with Jacob and have the autistic brain instead of his brother. That usually shuts him up pretty fast.
This past weekend we were invited to a wonderful party at a house on a small private lake. Every July 4th of July weekend they throw a fabulous fete for friends, family and neighbors, and we have luckily found ourselves to be invited in recent years.
One of the loveliest aspects to the party is the swimming. It's a clean, spring fed lake with a small beach. They hire lifeguards, a lot of them, so I can actually get out of the water when I am done swimming and let Jake stay in as long as he wants.
The coolest part? A floating trampoline platform out in the middle of the lake.
Yes. A trampoline.
And, yes, Jake was in heaven.
Bounce, bounce, bounce, bounce. jump off. Swim out to the teenagers in the paddle-boat and say "Excuse me, Are you in a boat?" and have them smile and wave hello. Swim back to the trampoline, Circle round, climb back up.
For 3 hours.
Danny and I took turns being in the water with him or watching from the shore. There was a lifeguard stationed on the trampoline and one in a rowboat halfway between that and the inflatable climbing iceberg.
For three hours Jake had the freedom of the lake and a trampoline to boot.
And Jacob with that much swimming in one day?
A happy, happy boy.
(Picture proof available here, in Wednesday's post Happiness)
Last year he did not get to swim enough.
This year his wonderful new school's summer camp takes him swimming four times a week.
This year I will make sure Jake gets his time in the water, to let his merman-self, his inner Namor shine through.
Note: This post was inspired by the July NaBloPoMo theme: Swim. Have you noticed I've managed to post every day so far this month? Shhhh, don't jinx it. If things continue to go... swimmingly, I'll officially announce my participation next week.
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