Isaac, Stephen, and Jack must have been through the YMCA’s beginning swim lessons four times, and it just didn’t stick. But really, who can learn anything in 30 minutes once a week for a month. Last week we spent the week with some friends in Jackson, TN who had a swimming pool. It was in the nineties or greater outside so we pretty much lived in the swimming pool. Before breakfast the boys would ask to go out. I tried one morning to take them to a playground to shake things up a bit. They were very displeased with the diversion and wanted to go home and swim.
They started out in full life jackets with noodles and other various floats nearby. Then the life jackets were exchanged for a backpack type float, and then a noodle. After adjusting the spare goggles by the pool side they started going underwater and before the week was out they were swimming underwater with no floats at all and came up for air without difficulty. The goggles were the secret. Isaac said to me, “I think it’s the goggles that made us able to swim, because you know, they kind of float.” I didn’t argue.
Another couple of days passed though and they could go underwater even without goggles and Isaac ventured to jump off the diving board. It was very exciting–first with me catching him and then by himself catching a noodle as he went in.
Even Gabriel got more brave and rather than clinging to my neck for dear life or standing on the steps he was swimming and floating around in a life jacket and float. Sebastian wasn’t quite ready to join the fun, except to keep me on my toes for by constantly trying to get some object out of the pool by leaning over the side.
It was a little sad to leave the convenience of a swimming pool outside the back door, especially one maintained by someone else, but off we had to go.
We are now in Owensboro and another very gracious family has opened their pool to us to swim in at our leisure. Today Isaac and Jack retired from swimming early to go devise some sort of super swing with their friend Jack, but Stephen wasn’t ready to leave the water. All today he mastered swimming the width of the pool, doing somersaults in the water, and the highlight of the day–jumping off the diving board. After his first jump in he surfaced and exclaimed, “That was really fun!” and off he went to do it again. The second time he missed catching the noodle, but found himself able to surface and swim to the side without difficulty and so another little fish was born. And now with a hot summer ahead we can look forward to new games like Marco Polo and shark and contests of who can hold their breath the longest. And it is a lot of fun to watch my little men spread their wings–or fins, as the case may be. And Isaac has picked up on my amusement over the floating goggles and now asserts it wasn’t the goggles after all.