In the beginning she clung to me. I was her ship at sea. We took swimming class together, so that she could be with me. Ever cautious of strangers, she refused to swim from me to the swimming teacher. Even though she could...
That first time she swam away from me to someone else was a victory. For us both! When she returned to my arms, she wrapped herself around me, but the newly gained confidence was in her eyes.
Then she gradually inched away, to sit on the "floating duck pad" with the other children, and to paddle a couple of feet to the teacher and back to me. Each week she grew more and more comfortable.