Last weekend, I took Zach to his first swimming lesson. It's the parent-child lesson, because the "real" lessons don't start until the kids are three years old. But, since Zach has had very little experience in a pool, I figured this would be the best way to start.
I talked up this lesson all week. Told him how we were going to a swimming lesson in a big pool, and he was going to learn how to swim like a fishy does! He was pretty excited...he even brought up the subject on his own a couple of times.
I think Zach should understand the full spectrum of the sacrifices we are making for these lessons. I am willingly getting into a bathing suit and into a pool only 5 short months after having a baby. I'll be the first to admit - it ain't a pretty site. But I am merciful to the general public, and wear a long tank-top to cover my imperfections. Anyway, these swimming lessons are also at 8:30am on Saturday mornings. Anyone who knows me knows that I could easily sleep until noon on Saturdays (oh the memories of life before children!). Although I don't get to sleep that late anymore, I have to get up earlier than normal, feed Rebekah, and then leave her with a very tired husband in order to get to the swimming lesson on time. So, Zach should feel very LOVED.
We arrived at the rec center, and made our way to the pool. We quickly found our class, and it turned out that Zach is the oldest in the class. Many of the kids are closer to 1 or 1 1/2 years old. The instructor was very nice, and explained that she loves the parent/child classes the most because it's a great way to act on the trust that your child has in you, and vice-versa. All very touching. But then we got in the pool.
Almost immediately, I realized two things: 1) the pool was pretty cold. Not the "I can't stay in this water" kind of cold, but definitely the kind that takes you awhile to get used to, and you have to stay moving. 2) My child was screaming. Not shouts of glee. I think his exact words were "Help" and "All done swimming". Awesome.
For the next 30 minutes, I wrestled my child into the different positions the other kids were supposed to be in, pulled him off of his desperate perch on my shoulder and head, tried to keep him from clawing off my bathing suit, and whispered things to him like
"Stop screaming, you are fine. Suck it up!" "Mommy has you, you are safe, I love you, You can do this!" It was made very clear that my son and I have trust issues. I trust myself to keep him safe in the pool, but you'd think Zach saw my fully-illustrated plan for his watery death with the way he "trusts" me. At least there were a few moments of silence during the lesson...when the instructor said we could dunk the kids. Silence followed by my sputtering 2-year old, and the sound of the last shred of trust disintegrating into thin air.
As we left the lesson, and I walked him to the car while pondering our deep-seated trust issues, my boy looked up at me and said "swimming lessons, FUN!"
I am so confused.
Getting Too Big
6 years ago