In anticipation of summer coming in a few short months we have enrolled E in the "Pike" swim class at the local Y. We talked up the whole class, but she was still nervous about it.
For me, it didn't help that my experience with swim lessons are not my fondest memories. The worst was standing at the top of the high diving board at Conklin Pool crying because I was scared to dive off, a requirement to passing the class. Everyone else in the class was standing there, just watching me. I finally jumped (something I had done before) but I never dove, and never passed intermediate swimming. Sigh.
So anyway, Saturday morning we arrived at Abington High School for E's lessons. She was apprehensive, but game. We walked out to the pool, and joined the other parents and children. When the class began, the teacher handed out "bubbles" to all the children to strap on. The she helped them into the pool. E got in and immediately started to cry because of the cold water. I tried splashing water on her shoulders to get her all wet, but the sight of her clinging to the side of the pool, shivering and crying was almost more than I could bear, especially since I could totally sympathize with how she was feeling. I decided to make my exit to the balcony overlooking the pool to watch the lesson, so that I wouldn't betray my own feelings to her. Also, I figured she would do better if I didn't stay within reach. It was an interesting mix of children in the class. I was relieved to discover that Ellie was in the middle of the class. There was one little girl who got in for about 5 seconds, cried, and then got out and stayed out. There was a little boy who started out fine, but then half way through started crying for his mom and refused to try anything. Then at the other end of the spectrum there was a little boy who didn't wear a bubble, and was very comfortable with putting his whole head under water, repeatedly dunking himself and kicking vigorously while holding onto the side. There was another little girl who didn't have to wear a bubble, and easily did all the kicking and floating. The last little boy and E were equallly able to follow instructions and do all that was asked. E frequently looked to me through her lesson for encouragement, and she semed to be doing fine. The last thing that they were asked to do was to jump in holding onto the teacher's hand. E did it once, but was ready to go home after that. She was starting to whimper as she shivered on the side of the pool, waiting for her turn. At that point I stepped in with her towel, wrapped her up and carried her off to the locker room to change.
I'm not sure how she is going to do with this class. I am hoping that she doesn't hate it, and also becomes more comfortable in the water. It seems though, that I was more worried than her. I guess I figured I never liked swim lessons, so she won't either. I just pray that my own negative feelings don't come out, and that I can continue to be upbeat and encouraging.