There's no doubt about it, the kid loves water. If he had it his way he'd stay in the bathtub for hours just splashing and spinning and drinking and splashing some more. The water circling down the drain seems to interest him but mostly Calvin simply enjoys the buoyancy which allows him to scoot around with little effort, unlike on dry land. Often he experiments with putting his entire face under water, opening his eyes and blowing a bubble or two.

Even the sound of splashing delights Calvin. Whenever I turn the faucet on and the stream of water gushes out he gets all happy and excited. Maybe, since I swam often when I was pregnant—and perhaps on some visceral level—he remembers the gentle rocking and sloshing in utero.

When Calvin's class visits the college pool weekly he dons a little purple "warm belly"—a polypropylene wetsuit shorty—and happily frolics around in his caretaker's arms until he gets covered in goosebumps. And last summer, Calvin felt for the first time, the warm, soothing ocean waves lapping over his body. He seemed enchanted by the surf as it swept over him and buoyed him up; he giggled and laughed and was visibly surprised—though not upset—by the very salty taste.

I'd like to think that one day Calvin could learn to float or dog paddle at the very least. The water seems to give him such a sense of freedom and pleasure. Maybe he'll take after his mama and swim like some kind of fish. Who knows?

photo by Michael Kolster


  1. Christy,

    I love knowing that Calvin is a big lover of water, being in it, hearing the splashing sounds, moving around. I am right there with him. Swimming in the ocean has always been one of my favorite things to do and I see Calvin enjoying that kind of thing more and more. Excellent update!

  2. This reminds me of a time when I lived in California. I worked with middle aged autistic and schizophrenic men for a time. There was one fellow who walked around, but could do very little else for himself. And he had a fascination with flowers. It was like he could smell them miles away or something because when we walked down the beach he would lead us straight to some grove of sweet smelling pacific coast flowers. While the rest of the group hung out on the beach, in the water, this guy would stand and smell the flowers, take one and look deep into its center. Then he would end up holding a single blossom for the walk home and the remainder of the day.

    Sometimes I think we "typical" people are missing something in life that people like Calvin and this fellow take time to truly experience and enjoy.