Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Will My Child Ever Learn To.....????

Joy's first swim class

We started our annual round of swim lessons this week.  My children have been taking swim lessons every summer for the past four years.  As I sat there on the hard bleacher yet again, I got to thinking...will this ever end???  Will my children EVER learn how to swim enough to be done with lessons???

Sometimes I seriously wonder what I am doing here trying to educate my kids.  I work with a child for days, weeks, months.  Will Joy ever learn how to read on her own?  Will Lizzy ever be able to add and subtract without using her fingers as an aid?  Will David ever be able to spell?  Is all of this homeschooling just a big fat waste of my time?

And then something happens and I get a glimmer of hope.  Today Joy swam on her back all by herself.  I watched Joy jump off the side of the pool into her instructor's arms without hesitating or holding on to his hands.  You might think this is no small thing.  Shouldn't all almost six year olds be able to float on their backs and jump into the pool on their own after taking five sessions of swim lessons over the course of four years?

When Joy first started taking swim lessons, she was almost three.  She loved everything about being in the water.  She loved kicking her legs and splashing her teacher most of all.  But when it came time for her to actually try this swimming thing, she left claw marks on her teacher's arms.  He would try to get her to let go so he could hold her up to help her float, but Joy was having none of that.  She had to have a death grip on him at all times.  As all the other little kids jumped off the side of the pool without fear, Joy had to hold her teacher's hands the entire time she jumped.

Lined up, about to stand up, and jump in.
Joy is the one in the middle wearing pink

The next summer Joy graduated to only having a strong grip on her teacher rather than a death grip.  The third summer Joy was confident enough to let her teacher hold her up and no longer had to hold onto him.  She even swam around all by herself as long as she had a floaty waist belt clipped onto her.  And this, our fourth summer, she let her teacher let go.  And she floated on her back.  And kicked her legs.  And didn't panic and immediately try to stand up.

I still have a loooonnnngggggg road ahead of me of more bleacher sitting, but I have hope that one day, eventually, Joy will actually learn how to swim enough to save herself.  She might even end up being a good swimmer.  Maybe.  Hopefully.  A Mom can dream, right?!

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