Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Why We Take Swimming Lessons

My Grandma has a definite opinion about water. It goes something like this, "DON'T go near the water until you've learned how to swim!" Unfortunately, it just doesn't work very well in that order. Grandma eventually came around to the idea of swimming and even took swimming lessons in her 70th decade and participated in water aerobics well into her 80th!

Swimming lessons have become a looked-forward-to non-negotiable portion of the summer for us.  Our town offers a swwweeetttt deal on swimming lessons. For a mere $5 per child, each child receives two weeks (45 min per day) of lessons given by an experienced group of lifeguards under the management of Mrs. Mary Jo.

Mrs. Mary Jo, mother of three grown kids herself, has been teaching Wright kids to swim for many years now and she's quite good at it.  We look forward to getting reacquainted with her each year as we head to the pool for the first day of lessons.

On day one, each of the big kids gets into the pool for their evaluation and is subsequently assigned to either the 9:00 or the 10:00 class. The better they do-- the earlier the class. I, a lover of my pillow on sunny summer mornings, secretly hope that they will sink like little bricks (just for a minute of course) and qualify for the later class. Usually, however, there is one kid in my gang who refuses to sink.
This one, I like to call her Miss NINE O'Clock...
Her brother was Mr. Nine O'Clock this year, but he was Nine O'Clocking it across town at a strength camp at the YMCA. It was his first year not in lessons with the rest of the kids.

This child...
was Miss TEN o'clock and won The Wright Kids' Award for "Most Improved Fish"!

Molly, may have had the most difficult task this year. 
Lessons for her age group were at 11:00 which meant that she had to wait...

...and wait...

...and wait...

...through two hours of the other girls' lessons before her's began.
The 11:00 class is for three year olds, but Molly participated last year as well. The catch with the little ones' class is that an adult must be in the water with them. I begrudgingly entered icy water last year so that Molly could begin her swimming career AND I also braved the very chilly water a few years earlier when Kate was in the little class and I was EIGHT months pregnant with Molly. The water level of the pool actually rose when I got in!! No kidding.

This year, I made other arrangements.  

Meet Rebekah...

Rebecca, oldest of four children, knew better than to be terribly charmed by Molly and therefore, lessons were quite a success.
(click picture to enlarge...)
Between Rebekah and Mrs. Mary Jo, Molly learned one of the most important lessons taught in the three-year-old class...
close your mouth before jumping into the water.
This lesson would help Molly later in the summer when I (the one who skipped lessons this year) lost my  grip on Molly in a large jet-propelled portion of a pool at the bottom of a water slide. (Cole who was standing nearby scooped her up quickly and the drama was kept to a bare minimum.)

Meg and Kate also learned lots this year...
(again, click to enlarge...)

During the two weeks of lessons, there were mornings when we struggled to get our lazy summer selves out of bed and to the pool by 9:00 am. There were mornings when I tried to convince myself that surely last year's lessons were sufficient to get us through this summer. 

Yet, each morning, we continued to haul our buggies to the pool and get into the turn-your-lips-purple water and each day after lessons were completed we felt pretty accomplished. (AND this was the first year in many that I didn't forget to bring towels for everyone and have to return home to retrieve them...I must be getting good at this mothering thing? Except for that earlier part about dropping my baby into a jet propelled swimming pool...)

During one of our pool excursions a few weeks ago, Kate was waaaaay short of the height requirement for these appealing slides...

There was a way around the little guy with the ruler ...a swim test. Kate had to swim 25 meters across the lap pool without stopping or touching the bottom. If she passed the test, she would be allowed to S-L-I-D-E. Would she make it? Would she have to spend the day watching the "big kids" slide while looking wistfully from the side of the pool? Would she be able to earn that coveted blue wristband which allowed munchkins into the upper realms of the slides? 

 Oh yeah!! (Happily it matched the suit...)
Thank you very much Mrs. Mary Jo!

The rest of the gang had a super day too...

Molly even got to tell the frog to make sure and close his mouth when he got into the water!

Swimming lessons well learned and much appreciated and worth every early morning!

1 comment:

G'ma suz said...

I better start the practice of keeping my mouth shut so I can be ready when these "swimmers" take on the task of teaching their Grandma to swim. I am fairly certain that first part is the hardest. Not much success so far!
Love, Mom

Share button


Related Posts with Thumbnails