Look at how far he’s come!!

This is Noah last summer. He took swimming lessons nearly every day all summer long at our local YMCA. Even though he was ten, he had never overcome his fear of water. If I managed to get him in the water, there was no getting his face wet. For ten years I could not convince the boy to learn how to swim. In his world, he thought he knew how. Finally I forced him into reality and literally drug him to swimming lessons. As soon as he graduated from the Pollywogs class, I enrolled him into the Guppies. By the end of the summer he could float, swim with a flotation device, and blow bubbles while his face was immersed! We were so proud of his progress.

Fast forward to this summer. Talk about a complete turn around. He begs to go to our local pool almost daily. He gets on the large water slides one after the other. I got on one of them the other day and it liked to have scared the dickens out of me. But Noah, he can’t get enough of them! The other day he began eyeing the diving board. I clinched in fear. I could just picture him jumping…, and then… sinking. Noah tends to have an unrealistic view of his abilities. If he can dog paddle for 3 seconds, then he thinks he can swim well enough to dive into 13 feet of water unsupervised. I don’t think so.

Instead I encouraged him to practice swimming in the eight foot section until he was comfortable with swimming in water over his head. Up until this point he had never done that without a flotation device. Today we went back, and he practiced a while. Then he looked up at me and confidently stated: “I’m ready to dive now.”

I threw down my book and jumped to the edge. In a very mommylike fashion, I asked, (well, probably begged) him to jump out toward the ladder so that he had less distance to swim. He climbed up the ladder, he walked across the board, he bounced up and down a few times, and then SPLASH! into the water he went. I waited, and to my amazement, he resurfaced, and dog paddled right to the ladder!

The lifeguard commented on him jumping toward the side and requested he jump farther out next time. What!? Can’t she see I’m the one in charge here?!! I had everything under control and didn’t need her help a single bit. I gave her the stink eye and had to bite my tongue. I just reminded myself that she’ll have kids of her own one day and then she’ll understand the jump out to the side method! Noah took her advice and to my surprise he made it! Again, and again, and again! You go Noah!! I’m so proud of you!

(Unfortunately I did not have a camera with me today. Next time we go diving, I’ll be sure to snap a picture!)

Published in: on June 20, 2008 at 3:35 am  Comments (1)  

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  1. Don’t you just admire the fearlessness? Admire and worry about, that is. Kids amaze me.

    On the neighborhood watch issue: I’ve lived in both small towns and large cities so I know what you mean on both. Worse still, my husband works in law enforcement so I hear about it every day. Your on the right track though. It’s sad that people are initially distrustful, but they’ll come around. Hey, what about a block party? Get folks out mingling socially. Keep up the good work!

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