Swimming Lessons!

I finally signed the little ones up for swimming lessons at the local Aquatic Park. I meant to do this years ago – but, as you know – life happens, so it didn’t happen until now. The day finally came, and although the kids were staying with their mom this weekend, they requested that I be present (Yay! Happy to oblige!).

I had no worries that Everjean would be 100% rarin’ to go. She loves the water as much as her older sister Veda (who was actually BORN in the water) and spends most of her free time in our hot-tub, with her toys, in goggles no less.

Enzo, the cautious one, is a bit apprehensive about most new things and swimming lessons were no exception. Luckily, his mom gave him a great pep talk in the morning prior and he seemed pretty excited.

We arrived at the aquatic park and stepped in to the gigantic pool area to find the earlier lessons winding down. When the time came for the next session, Enzo and Everjean joined their group with a few girls of similar age – along their swim instructor who looked to be in his late teens or early twenties (I thought he looked a bit like Dave Franco, if that helps with visualization).

The lesson started off great. They were smiling, kicking around in the water and having a great time — but then…

The ONE thing I had assured Enzo of a few days before was that he wouldn’t have to worry about going underwater. I had told him that there was absolutely no way the instructor would ask them to submerge for their first lesson. It just wouldn’t happen, right?? Well, WRONG! The very first task they were asked to complete was dunking their faces.

The rest of the class seemed ok with it… but not Enzo. The worry on his face showed, and the tears started to come down when it was his turn to swim around with the instructor. He remained brave though – and stuck with it through the motions.. and through the tears — The instructor seemed very patient as he guided Enzo through the water. I was impressed that Enzo managed to hold it together through numerous other swimming tasks until the end of the lesson came.

When Enzo left the water, he stuck his head in my chest and the tears flowed again. I calmed him down in the locker room however, and I think he ended up feeling proud that he stuck with it until the end.

….

Growing up, like Enzo, I feel I was a bit timid about many things. The water wasn’t one of those things though. I remember how proud I was of myself that I could tread water for an hour+ when I was 10 years old (I think it made me feel like Magnum PI in that one episode where he’s stuck in the ocean and has to stay afloat while sharks are circling him).

On weekends, my family spent a ton of time on Lake Merwin, so I was always on the water and was swimming from a very early age – so it was always second nature to me. The only time I’ve ever been afraid of the water was when I got stuck in a rip tide at Indian Beach while surfing — and almost got carried out to sea (a story for another time).

Still, I’m going to get Enzo back into the water next week. It can only get better, right? I know he loves the water, but he likes it on his own terms, without someone telling him what to do (specifically when they tell him to go underwater). I’m hoping the instructor does more ABOVE the water instruction to begin with next time – but I do feel it’s important to not be afraid of the water – and I think that’s what the dunking aims to teach – straight away.

Anyone have any tips for a young, timid swimmer?

 

4 thoughts on “Swimming Lessons!

  1. Winnie is starting swimming lessons there in November. She’s an extremely cautious kid, so I’m worried about how it will go, too. I’m glad I read this because I feel a little more prepared now!

    It’s so hard to see your kid feel anxious and scared about something. She started preschool a few weeks ago and it was awful. Awful. The first day was 30+ minutes of full on hysterical crying after I left the classroom. Then for days after that she would tell me she didn’t want to go to school ever again. And that she was all alone. But just today she asked me if she could go to school even though it’s the weekend!

    So, hopefully It will be the same for Enzo once he adjusts. And maybe we’ll see you at the pool soon. 🙂

  2. 😂 sorry but this is too funny, classic kid behavior. I think I was born a shark, ready to conquer the ocean. So obviously my first child would be the same. Not so much. It’s the head under water thing. At first I tried to pretend we were sharks going under water together. Mistake, sharks are scary. Great now overcome the head under water fear and possibly sharks nearby. Sydney(ballet girl) needed a different approach. 🐬 dolphins cute, right? Oh but reminded her of those sharks 🦈 lurking about. Needed something more girlie! Big shout out to the Barbie movies, she does it all. Watched episode where our hero becomes a mermaid. Thanks Barbie. But only on this occasion you self esteem ruining doll. Sydney the mermaid conquered her fear with her imagination at play. Norah the explorer threw caution to the wind and just did it. No fear. She likes to think she is a deep sea diver swimming with the sharks. Discovering new fish 🐟 which she will name and become recognized worldwide! Who knows, shes got that spirit of adventure and discovery. So there’s my family, Norah swimming beside me, a new shark 🦈 to be named and Sydney off on her mermaid tale. So I guess tuning in to what their individual personalities and likes worked in my situation. Maybe he can practice at home looking for treasures in the bath tub. Pirates chest? 😂😂. Never know with kids. Thanks for sharing your story. Fun to read and it’s nice to hear about real life stuff without all the know it all perfectly perfect fluff.
    Thx, 🦈

  3. Wow, Sara! I think Winnie and Enzo might be kindred souls! Enzo is stubborn about trying most new things – preschool dropoff was especially rough for weeks (years ago), but when Kindergarten rolled around, he marched right in without complaint.

    We definitely hope to see you soon, pool or otherwise!

  4. Hey Lara! It’s always nice to hear about other family experiences and that mine isn’t the only one with it’s quirkiness! 😀 I think that’s a great idea to try and make pool time more fun by spicing it up with interesting adventures (like treasure hunting!). I think if Enzo knew he was deep sea diving for active volcanos (or sharks that couldn’t bite him!), he’d probably get into the mood for swimming much faster! He’s definitely an explorer

    Great to hear about your crew and your mermaid and shark adventuring! 🙂

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