Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Swimming Lessons

I'm so proud of Gavin. Swimming has become increasingly a source of fear and tears over the last two years. After a horrible attempt at group lessons last year (Gavin wouldn't get off the wall) I knew private lessons were the way to go. And how fortuitous that I got an email from a mom on our soccer team with info about a friend of hers giving lessons at their pool this summer!

The mom is in the water and oversees the lessons. Kids from the Johnston High swim team work one on one with the kids and she kind of guides them as to what things to work on. After telling her how frightened Gavin was of the water, the plan was simple: make it fun and get him past his fear. Actual swimming was secondary!

The weeks leading up to this every time I told Gavin what was coming up, and what to expect - he burst into tears. So imagine my surprise when, upon arriving at the pool the first day (we got there a few minutes early to observe the kids in the session before us) Gavin announced to the lady "I'm not afraid of the water anymore".

And so it was. By the second lesson he was jumping off the diving board and kicking his way all across the pool with a noodle. He loves it and is begging for me to sign him up for more sessions (and oh I will!).

I can't say he's a natural, but not ever having been a big swimmer myself, I'm not sure if there are kids that just "get" swimming. Baseball, soccer, I would say he's pretty much a natural. Swimming - well, he's trying very hard. But as I watch, I can't get rid of the image of Phoebe from Friends and her crazy, flailing run. That's a bit what his swimming looks like.

The one thing about Phoebe was that even though she looked crazy, she took tremendous joy in running. And that's what I'm seeing when I watch Gavin in the water now: tremendous joy. And for that I think these lessons are an amazing success!

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