At the beginning of the summer, my son was afraid of the water. He knew he couldn't swim. So, when we went to the pool during the first week of June, he wouldn't come out of his life vest unless his father or I had a tight grasp on him. And don't even think about the diving board.
But for the past four weeks we have spent every afternoon at the pool at the YMCA taking swim lessons. Everyday I sat there in a little patch of shade trying to avoid sunburn and sweating like an Englishman in the desert.
Every week, my little man's confidence grew along with his skills. Having some free-play time before and after his lessons really helped too. Trying to show up the other kids by doing handstands, flips and cannonballs can boost any kids confidence, you know.
But no matter how hard he tried or how fast he kicked, every time his instructor let go of him, his little bum would sink like the Titanic, and he would end up desperately treading water until he remembered he could touch the bottom.
But one day during the third week of lessons, something clicked. It was his turn to push off the wall and swim to his instructor. He sighed, whined about how far away she was, then the amazing happened. He pushed off, kicked with out bending his knees, and zoom! He was off! He reached his instructor in no time and was very surprised when he looked up and realized what he had done. After that there was no stopping my little buddy. And the icing on the cake, the cherry on top of the sundae...... he passed the swim test on his final day of lessons. My little guy swam the entire length of the pool, with no help, without stopping or touching the bottom of the pool. And he proudly wore his orange wristband as he played in the shallow end of the pool with all the confidence of a kid twice his size.