Monday, March 7, 2011
3-5-11 No Mommies, No Armies
It's a 20 degree day and we ventured out for Conrad's first swim lesson. Well, his first swim lesson was a few years ago when we took a mommy and me class. Let me reminisce a little bit. It was fabulous. We got in the water, sang little songs and moved through the water like it was just another dance venue.
Today, only he got into the water and I was directed to the viewing area UPSTAIRS: seemed a little far away. . . He wasn't even wearing armies, but he was grinning ear to ear. He was one of three students and was by far the most eager. They sang little songs like we did in mommy and me class and Conrad was brimming with pride as he practiced kicking and moving his arms back and forth. I brought a book with me and that's what the seasoned parents were doing - reading or texting. How could I read? I had to watch the swim lesson story unfold and capture it on my video camera. Turned out that the other two mommies leaning over the edge of the plexi glass wall belonged to the other two students in Conrad's beginner class. This isn't much of a coincidence.
Conrad soon looked up and found me; he waved and called hello and his smile said this was the best ever. For a second, I regretted that he didn't need me for this, but in that moment he did need me. He needed me to be in the stands watching.
His swim teacher (coach??) took each of the students one at a time to practice and Conrad is certainly comfortable in the water. I had wanted to start swim lessons last year, but had a hard time with the scheduling. Plus, Conrad was very clear that he did not want swim lessons, nor did he need swim lessons. He already knew how to swim. I planted the idea that he could show everybody how well he could swim at swim lessons. Apparently, the idea just needed to sink in because by this morning he was psyched to get to the pool. I saw another little glimpse of his independent spirit.
Max and Caden were with Daddy and one on one time is at a premium for Conrad and I. The conversation was an important part of this morning... when Conrad's internal dialogue is made audible. There is so much wonder in a four-year-olds mind. An adult knows exactly what to expect from swim lessons, but for a preschooler, the imagination kicks in. The lesson exceeded what his imagination had drummed up.
Here's my swim lesson mom oath: I will stop reminding him that as soon as he will put his head all the way under water that he can move up to the next level. I will no longer entertain the idea of signing him up for back lessons level 1-A and then 1-B. I will let him be a beginner and just enjoy the level where actually gets to play!