In the Swim
Even if there are no gold medals in their futures, swim lessons are providing great opportunities for my three very different kids.
Saturday mornings don't allow for sleeping in at our house lately, not even the lame 8 a.m. wake up calls that many parents find luxurious. Instead, all five of us get loaded in the van to head over to the pool where the kids are enrolled in swim lessons at different levels, and they each seem to be benefitting in his or her own way.
My 4-year-old daughter heads in first, and for me, it's one of the few times all week that she and I are separated. It's a different perspective for me to see her as part of a class and in a position to listen to someone else as an authority figure. It's refreshing to see her following directions, challenging herself a tiny bit each week to keep her face in the water a little longer or to jump in the deeper end without holding the teacher's hand. While I'll be forever grateful for the last couple of years of stay-at-home-momdom, I'm happy that swim lessons give her the opportunity to experience a group setting, especially as kindergarten looms only a few months away.
For our 3-year-old, swim lessons are less about specific skills and simply more about a regular time to do something special with Daddy. I'm not particularly keen on being the parent in the parent-child swim class, and I love that my husband is willing to take one for the team. I do know that he treasures that one-on-0ne time with our little boy who seems to be aging right before our eyes, and no one looks cuter in a swim shirt and trunks than a pudgy toddler. What can be better than sitting in the observation room and being the recipient of an excited wave and goofy grin from your littlest swimmer?
Then there's the big kid. While he may never follow in Michael Phelps' footsteps, he's learning to hold his own in a lap lane. Having never quite grasped just how to propel one's body to dive into a pool myself, it's fun to watch him practicing under the guidance of the very patient staff. Our summer days are often spent at our neighborhood pool, so it's comforting to know that he's getting stronger in his abilities in the water. At his age, he's not really going to be able to articulate it, but I do think he's gaining confidence in himself, especially when he proudly shares how many laps he swam after each lesson.
Chalk this up to another fabulous resource here in town — the Greenbelt Aquatic and Fitness Center. I've been impressed with the staff, and the price for swim lessons is really quite reasonable. As with most places in Greenbelt, you're sure to run into one (or 10) people you know while you're there, and it feels good to be connected to our community in this way.
Even though it means leaving the house early on a weekend morning, I'm happy to walk into the center each Saturday, confident that all of my children will have a special experience while splashing around.
Dawn may reside in Greenbelt in real life, but online she lives at her blog, my thoughts exactly, where she chatters on about her funny kids, her NPR obsession and plenty of other randomness. She can also be found at 5 Minutes for Books, reviewing everything from contemporary fiction to children's literature.