It took her forever. She was rather cautious and overly cerebral about learning to swim. She really didn't much like getting her face wet and wanted to master "swimming on the surface" first, she said. She'd get around to dunking her face later on. A tough way to go about it, especially given the fact that she has scant bouyancy due to having next to no body fat. But she kept at it, in good cheer and with serious commitment, eagerly grabbing an hour or two every month or two in the hotel pool in Calgary.
Finally just after Christmas she started to get it. She set herself the challenge of swimming the length of the hotel pool after which she figured she could call herself a real swimmer. And she practiced and practiced, swimming along the edge of the pool time and time again, making it another 30 centimetres each time before grabbing the side. And after a few dozen tries she finally made it. Since then she's become more and more of a fish. She's now happy swimming in the deep end on her own even when I'm watching from as far away as the adjacent hot tub.
This trip I finally remembered to bring the camera to the pool to document her solo swimming for her dad. Which was great, because this was the trip where she really lost all fear and felt like a true fish. She was pretty pleased with herself, I think.
As an aside, you'll see that she even swims with her glasses. From the moment she got her glasses last summer she has been unwilling to live without them for a moment. If a lens pops out (as they are wont to do, being rather thick and worn on the face of a pretty active girl) she weeps. This stoical little girl who hardly ever cries ... she becomes despondent at the thought of having to do without her glasses. Last summer we lost a screw on the floor of a rehearsal room and the entire rehearsal ground to a halt, as it was clear to everyone in the room from the look on Fiona's face and the quivering of her lower lip that finding the screw was an immediate priority. Find it we did. Having been thus reminded how far we live from an optician, we now carry a full emergency optometry repair kit everywhere we go. Everywhere.