A magical milestone moment in the pool

Mel Gibson as Kurt Mayron, Mark Wahlberg as Dusty Mayron, Will Ferrell as Brad Taggart and John Lithgow as Don Taggart in Daddy's Home 2. Picture: PA Photo/Paramount Pictures/Claire Fogler.

CHERYL GIBBS: Not a great film, but I still balled my eyes out

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There are many milestones in every child’s life and as a parent it is natural to want to be there to witness each one.

But of course sometimes when a milestone is reached it is pot luck whether you are the one that witnesses it for the first time.

It all starts when your child is a few months old and they smile for the first time.

I thought I’d seen my daughter Caitlin do this but was reliably informed that it was just wind.

Then it can be when they try to imitate your words for the very first time with that baby babble sound.

Or it could be when they sit up without support for the first time.

I missed all of these momentous events because I was at work.

However, there were some I did see.

When my second daughter Alyssa looked at me and said ‘Dadda’, which she’d never said before, I was sitting right next to her.

It was one of those beautiful moments that no parent would ever forget.

Another milestone was reached when Alyssa walked for the first time.

It happened with just the two of us in the room.

Suddenly she took those first steps across the living room and it filled me with so much happiness and pride.

But it was a moment that she wouldn’t re-create for many days, making it look like her daddy had made it up.

But just a few weeks ago I missed a moment in my daughter Caitlin’s life I really wished I’d been there to see.

She went swimming with her mum and sister, something we love to do as a family, and I had dropped them off before I went to host my radio show.

That day, at the age of five, Caitlin swam by herself without the help of armbands.

When I heard about it I once again had that proud dad feeling, but was gutted that I’d missed the moment.

So last week Caitlin went swimming again and this time I was there.

After school we jumped in the car and headed towards the Pyramids Centre at Southsea.

We last visited almost exactly a year ago, just before it was closed because of flooding.

It was wonderful to see it back up and running, especially as I had spent so many hours there having fun as a child.

After stuffing all our belongings in the locker we made our way to the pool and arrived just as the wave machine started.

Shortly afterwards we raced each other on the blue and green flumes and had fun splashing each other in the large pool.

We had such a great time and the best thing of all was that I got to see Caitlin swim towards me unaided.

It wasn’t the first time she’d done it, but it still left me feeling very proud.