Sunday, January 29, 2012

Swim, little fish, swim!

It started with one.  The proceeded to two.  Three made it interesting.  Four jumped right in.

Swim lessons.  I fondly look back to when we were just enrolling Caroline for the parent/child class.  Stephanie was the one to go with her then.  Then came the time to go with Lydia as well.  Thankfully, I was able to have the days off during the summer, so we went to Sahm Park for the first thing in the morning lessons.  Don't get me wrong, 9-10 am on a summer day is a great time, just not quite the warmest part of the day.  But it was fun.  We got to divide and conquer, one of us going with Caroline and the other with Lydia.  They would have their classes and then at the end would be some free swim time for them to practice what they had learned or have a first dibs on the water slides.  Parents included.  I'll admit, I nudged for the water slide.  Lydia amazed me by going down the slide made for kids.  Like 5 year old kids.  She wasn't even 2 yet.  That's my girl!

Last year Ian was able to start swim lessons at the YMCA.  Stephanie would take him during the day while the two older girls were at school and Eliza would go to the child watch area.  I expected this time to be just one that I heard stories about, but one time Stephanie was unable to take him, so I took some time from work to join him in the pool.  He is no where near the fish that Lydia is, to say the least.  Being a parent/child swim lesson, I got into the pool with him for the lesson.  To say that he clung to me like his little life depended on it would be an understatement.  I don't think I was able to pry him off until we got to the locker room.  And to hear him talk afterwards (I am speaking of the next lesson time), he had the best time with me.  Stephanie made it sound like he was bragging about the time that he had with me.  I'll take a compliment.

Now we are at four kids.  We have scheduled evening swim lessons this time around.  Luckily, we were able to double up, and Ian and Lydia have their lessons at the same time, and then Caroline and Eliza have theirs concurrently.  It is a lot of fun to sit on the side, wrangle Eliza, and watch Ian jump and splash in the water along side his class mates.  He has gone leaps and bounds (into the water) from his last lessons where he just clung to me.

No fear Lydia has not disappointed as well.  She is just gung-ho in the water, following the instructor's lead and doing her own thing.  I have no fear that she will be fine in the water, she just needs to work on her arm stroke some more.

I have not really seen Caroline during her lesson, as she is in the lap pool in another area.  From the reports that I have received, she is doing splendid.  For someone who has been hesitant in the past, she is jumping right in, ducking her head underwater, and even though she gets a mouthful of water often enough, she bobs back up with a smile on her face, ready to keep going.

I did not know what to expect from Eliza.  Being my little cuddle bug and the littlest one, I thought that she may go the route of her brother and just cling to me.  Through much twisting of my arm and convincing, Stephanie managed to get me to get in the pool with Eliza (ok, so I jumped at the chance, she's got me around that little finger).  Our first lesson was what I expected.  Lot's of clinging to Dad, not sure what is going on, ready to be done as soon as possible.  The next week I prepared myself for more of the same.  Little did I know that my little bucket of spunk was holding back.  She attacked the water, kicking her feet, stretching her arms, and laughing up a spell.  She does great at blowing bubbles, floating on her back, and splashing her Dad as much as possible.  At first, I thought that she did not like to jump into the pool into my waiting arms, until I realized that it is too cold out of the pool and she just wants to be in the water.

I have always been comfortable in the water for as long as I can remember.  My parents sent me to swim lessons every summer, and I loved it.  I can't express how happy I am to see all four of my kids doing so well at this activity.  It makes me look forward to all of the fun times we will have at swimming pools and beaches wherever we travel.  Can't wait kids!

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