Swimming Lessons!

8:55 PM

I remember so clearly taking swimming lessons as a kid.  Our local pool held lessons for two weeks every summer, and they were intense! You started out at Beginner, then next year you were an Intermediate, then Advanced, then Swimmer or something like that. I could be missing a step in there.

I have two primary memories of those lessons:

1) That many of them occurred in one of our community's local lakes and I was (and continue to be) grossed out by the thought of my feet touching the unseen bottom of lakes. It creeped/creeps me out to no end. Not good when you're supposed to be paying attention to learning how to swim and all you're thinking about are the mysterious creepy-crawlies that you can't see; and...

2) There were swimming competency tests at the end of the 2 week periods and I dreaded them.  I recall having to tread water for 5 minutes and also having to do the dead man's float for several minutes. I could do the treading water, but having to float on my belly with my face in the water (in a dark lake, no less) gave me nightmares. I'm pretty sure I managed to pass, but I still hold firm to the belief that if I were actually stranded in water, the LAST thing I'd resort to doing would be floating like a dead man face down. Seriously. 

And now things have come full circle. I have finally taken the step to put two of my own children in swimming lessons! It's one of those necessary life steps, or milestones, that seems to be inevitable. 
Like losing teeth or learning to read.

I figured the day would come for my kids, but I didn't count on it being so challenging to find lessons or a swim instructor! It's also something that I would expect more moms to chat about, but I never hear about it. Maybe it's something we moms are supposed to do, but on the sly. Hmmm.

I finally tracked down a swim instructor at our gym who's giving Brooklyn and August private lessons for a ridiculously low price. Or so it seems to me. $12 for a half hour session. $6/kid. And I can pop Dorien in childcare and swim laps myself while they're taking their lessons! Win/Win! 

We've only had 3 lessons so far, but I'm pretty sure I can see progress.  Sometimes it's hilarious, other times it's exasperating. And I'd forgotten so many of the little steps that build the foundation to competency in swimming....blowing bubbles in the water, putting your face in the water, moving your legs and arms at the same time, but not necessarily in the same ways...remembering to take breaths before putting your face under water...learning to feel at ease in the water rather than panicky.  These are all things I'm watching my kids experience. It's also a good lesson for me to watch how they respond to someone else's instructions. And I'm happy to say they're doing fine in that regard. The coordinated movements.....well, let's just say it's clear we're only 3 lessons in. But I have every confidence that one day, they'll be proficient at it. 

It's possible one day my kids may even find themselves enrolled in the same 2 week swimming lessons I used to take. Then, things will REALLY have come full circle.

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