Swim Lessons Then and NowAugust 8, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments
Tags: amusing, baby
When I was a kid my mom enrolled my sister and I in swim lessons. I was about 8 and my sister was about 5. Coincidentally, she also enrolled us in Vacation Bible School that same summer, and to this day my sister swears she thought God wanted her to drown. I didn’t make the same connection, but I wasn’t thrilled with the arrangement, either. I spent my mornings crying about having to put my face in the water, and my afternoons gluing together “I Heart Jesus” bookmarks with very little idea who this Jesus character was anyway.
Needless to say, neither my sister nor I took too well to the water. I will at least go off the diving board now (albeit feet first with nose pinched), but as far as swimming, I keep my head firmly above the water.
So today when I took Liam to swim lessons at the YMCA, imagine my shock when the instructor told me to stand back from the edge, hold onto Liam’s shins, and LET GO. Say what now? I observed all the other kids splashing their heads under the water, flailing their little arms until they gained purchase, and pulling themselves up onto the ledge. Then I observed Liam, angry as a wet cat, who had been screaming bloody murder for the past 15 minutes, and I really didn’t think I had it in me to send my precious cargo off to drown. I wouldn’t have been happy had the tables been turned. But thankfully the instructor persisted, and with her help I turned him around, grabbed his little waist, whispered a little apology, and LET GO. And you know what? He didn’t drown! He swam to the edge, and with a little boost, pulled himself on the ledge. He wasn’t happy about it, but he did it! After a few tries, I felt better about letting go. Thought Liam appeared to hate it every time.
Next we practiced floating, something Liam HATED doing in last year’s good-for-nothing class. But the instructor told me to hold him by the shoulders, then hold him under his head with my other hand on his forehead so he’s doing most of the floating. And what do you know, Liam did it! He still didn’t like it. But he did it.
You’re probably wondering why I’m even bothering with swim lessons this early, especially when it’s clear Liam hates it. But now that we’re living in Florida with the option of getting a house with a pool, I want to raise my kids to swim. Perhaps if I’d had instruction at an earlier age, I’d feel more comfortable in the water. Or maybe it’s just genetics – my parents aren’t much for swimming, either. Liam doesn’t have to join the swim team, but I want him to enjoy playing in the water more than I did, and I want him to be safe. So, seven more classes to go, and with any luck he’ll stop screaming through the entire class at some point.