Last week was a busy week. I enrolled Cbear in a local swim lesson class, boot camp style. Our week pretty much went like this:
Cbear exuded happiness and excitement about going to swim class and learning to swim. He knew one of his buddies from preschool would be there, so I think that helped. He also loves teachers, so I made sure to call the instructors “teachers” just to ease him into things. I also knew another mom who was going with her two children, so I was hopeful we could buddy up the kids and they would all be together.
Cbear waited not-so-patiently for class to begin. Of course we were early, and then there was the 10 minute intro by the director. He kept asking when he “could get in the pool”.
Then, he got in the pool.
The tears began. They lasted the entire 40 minutes of pool time that day. The director had told us to focus on the positive, so I asked what Cbear liked about swim class – “Hanging on the wall”, was his reply.
The morning began with tears. And when I say the morning began, I mean he got up early for the day crying about not going to swim class. He begged not to go.
We went. He cried. Often.
Today, the lesson was a bit harder. They had the kids going under water, turning to their backs and floating themselves across the width of the pool on their backs. I’m pretty sure each of the 6 or 7 kids on the wall were crying at one point (or most of) the class. The instructors barely touched their heads to help direct them. And with some pride, I watched as Cbear crossed 2 swimming lanes completely unassisted on his back. No amount of tears from him would persuade me that swim lessons was a bad idea.
This day actually started the night before with the tears about not wanting to go to swim class. Cbear asked, about an hour after he was supposed to be sleeping, that I come upstairs so that I was on the same level of the house as he. He woke again that morning, crying. He was terribly upset. Then I asked if he wanted goggles to help his eyes not get water in them – his tears stopped and he was gung ho to go to class.
He balled his eyes out while wearing those goggles the entire time. And then this was also the class where they had the kids stand on the side of the pool and jump in. Well, Cbear wasn’t having that… he sat on the side of the pool and was pulled in by the instructor. He then had to surface, turn to his back and kick to the opposite side of the pool. Once again, he did it with seeming ease and minimal if any assistance.
Today was the last day of Week 1. Thank GOD! Today was the final day of a heat wave and the 100+ degree weather and humidity outside actually felt cooler than the pool waiting area.
Cbear started the day out as usual, in tears. Today’s treat (read: bribe)? A balloon from the dollar store. He still wasn’t too keen on the idea of actually jumping in the pool, so the instructors (yes, TWO of them) helped him slip in.
And today’s surprise for me? Cbear was able to go under the water, surface and turn to his back and float/kick his way completely to the opposite end of the pool! The entire width of the pool!!!
So, we ended Week 1 with a treat at Chick-fil-A for my new swimmer. We survived – all of us. One week down, and one to go. Now I’m thinking we need to continue with lessons throughout the year so that we do not forget this amazing and necessary survival skill!