Last year, swimming with Marley was much different than this year. She was very clingy, she was quite content to hang out by the ladder, and there was no way she was going into the water without someone to hold onto.
This year is a different story. She still likes to hang onto me or another adult sometimes,
...but she's graduated to using just floaties.
She's also feeling much more independent, willing to doggy-paddle around as long as someone is nearby in case she needs them.
And then all of a sudden, her courage blossomed. Now she launches herself off the edge of the pool with abandon.
She's also quite proud that she's learned to float on her back.
She will even open her eyes underwater or try to "swim" with her head under the water. She looks more like a flailing ostrich when she does it, and it's all I can do sometimes not to bust out laughing. I tell her all the time how much Jim used to like to swim (unlike me, who would rather observe from the deck) and how proud he would be to see her getting so brave and adventuresome and independent.
I'm so proud of her too!