Ying and Luk Chaai both had swim lessons through the city this summer. I looked into getting Ying swim lessons through a couple different instructors, but almost all locations wanted me to do private lessons. The city, however, made no such requirement. They did ask me bring Ying to the sessions at pool with a big shallow end, and I was happy to comply.
She worked one-on-one with an instructor. The primary focus was teaching her how to flip onto her back and keep her head safely above water should she fall in. But they worked on swimming too, and I loved seeing those little legs flipping away in the water.
On the last day of lessons, all the kids had the option of jumping off the high jump. We’d had a little chat about it in the days leading up. Ying and Luk Chaai both declared NO high jump. I told them that if they were skipping it because they didn’t like it, then that was fine. But, if they were passing on it because they were afraid, then they needed to at least try it.
We can’t be afraid to try new things, I encouraged them. As the words slid out, I thought of the number of times I had ignored that advice. So I said it the once and then shut up, hoping to silence the devil on my shoulder whispering, “Physician, heal thyself.”
That Friday, Luk Chaai got in line for the high jump, waving at me as he climbed the stairs. It was raining, so I stood there with my camera in one hand, umbrella in the other, trying to keep the camera dry while focusing and waving back. He jumped and when he resurfaced, his little head bobbing above the water, he yelled, “Mommy, I was BRAVE.” All the parents around me erupted with laughter; my pride bubbled over.
He wasn’t the only one to jump, Ying jumped too. Her instructor held her in his arms and they both took the plunge with me hollering from the sidelines. It was a fun day, and I’d like to think we all learned a little something above and beyond the swim lessons.
Take that water, take that life.
Two more swimming tidbits:
- The swim instructors tied poola noodles around the kids’ waists to keep them afloat. They tied them kind of like a pretzel and the kids stayed afloat. I think you need long noodles though because I tried it with some we picked up from the dollar store but they were too short.
- My friend Rebecca’s son is a congenital quad. You can watch his mad swimming skills here.