A few weeks ago, I was in the pool playing around with my kids. I’ve always loved being in the water with them, but this time I was relishing the freedom that comes with having each kid be a strong independent swimmer. No longer was I needed to act as a tugboat or buoy in the pool; even my youngest can keep up with her brothers, swimming, splashing, and playing around for an hour or more. Finally we have reached the age where we can all be outside, get some good exercise, and not wilt in the hot Austin summer.
I found myself doing what I often do when we’re in the pool together: grinning a goofy grin while watching my kids play. They had devised some version of the throw-a-toy-to-the-bottom-while-no-one-is-looking-then-race-to-fetch-it game and were playing it happily over and over and over again.
I grabbed a pair of goggles and submerged myself so I could watch their play underwater. They were all smiling, their strong bodies stretched out in the water, moving freely. It was a scene that captured perfectly why I have so loved swimming with my kids; it is one of the great joys of mothering these three.
I knew, immediately, I had to have photos taken of my kids underwater.
This was just a week before school started, but I was struck so directly and powerfully that I knew it couldn’t wait. My oldest is 12, and he’s on the verge of becoming a hairy man-child. I wanted photos of my children– my babies– playing together. I wanted something that would help me push the pause button on their childhoods, forever capturing what has been a huge part of our lives together.
After a few false starts with some pro photographers, it turns out that my super talented cousin has an underwater housing for her super fancy camera. She came over and shot some images that were exactly what I was looking for.
And, this, which is my most favoritest photo EVER of my waterbabies:
Go do something with your kids that makes you all smile.
Photo credits Elissa Shopoff. If you live in Austin and are interested in underwater photography, drop a comment here. I’d be happy to put you in touch with Elissa.