Once upon a time I spent every day in a bathing suit.
From the age of fourteen through twenty, I spent six days a week in or around a swimming pool. Besides competitive swimming practice, my days were spent either as a lifeguard or teaching swim lessons. In that six year time period, I taught hundreds of people how to swim. Private lessons, group lessons, adult lessons, child lessons, I had done it all.
I knew it all.
Okay so maybe not it "all" but all one needed to be a really good swim teacher.
And then I had my own kids.
And I sucked.
I missed the window, so to be speak. That window of opportunity where my kid was filled with confidence and enthusiasm about the swimming pool.
Instead, I've got a hot mess!
Before Maeve's birth, I had enrolled Mo in parent child lessons. At under two years old, she loved swimming. Eagerly she would jump into my waiting arms, laughing and kicking, enjoying each moment.
Then it got to be too much. Having a newborn and a two year old, we put off swim lessons..
"We'll sign her up soon" we both promise.
One year passes and then another.
In the bath, just after the new year, she plays with her sister as usual, and I sit on the floor beside the tub.
"Put your face in a bit!" I instruct.
"No mommy. I no like it!" she barks. "I no like swimming!"
"Of course you do" I say, "Don't you want to go swimming in a pool?"
"No. I NO LIKE SWIMMING." her voice echoes through the bathroom this time.
"Hey Bry," I call, "Come in here for a sec. Mo has something to tell you."
Tears stream down her face as he enters the bathroom. Her breathing labors as she cries, "I no want to go swimming. I no like swim lessons. I not going to go!"
Way to go Jackie! Parent of the year over here!
Without delay, that night we join the Y, and enroll Mo in beginner swim lessons, which start the very next Monday.
As the weeks pass, her confidence builds as she becomes relaxed in the water, even finding confidence to jump in during the last class. Her well seasoned teacher is a Godsend, and Mo loves Miss T.
In the next session we find Mo's teacher to be a high school aged guy (Mr.B), who, Miss T confesses is only teaching his second session independently.
Wonderful!, I think, Let's hope he doesn't lose all the great stuff Mo got from Miss T.
Surprise, he is wonderful! Mo likes him, and he gives her just the right amount of support and instruction. I'll eat crow on that one.
As the session is coming close to an end, B gives recommendations to parents for the upcoming class sign ups. Glancing quickly, I notice Pike 1 is scrawled in pen.
No big deal. It's only been two sessions, and my money's on the 2020 Olympics anyway.
I'm about to leave, ushering the toweled wrapped girls off the pool deck when B. makes his mistake.
Instead of leaving well enough alone, he catches my attention, stuttering a bit says, "Well I have Mo down for Pike 1. She's pretty close to being ready for Pike 2. We'll just see how she does these next two weeks, and then we can decide for next semester. She's pretty close you know."
I have little time to digest this information before Mo begins squealing into my ear, "Panera! Panera! Panera! Panera please?" as Maeve tugs my leg, reaching her arms up for me hold her.
We have a problem here.
Apparently B. isn't familiar to the logistics of swim lesson sign ups.
Remember those concerts that sell out within minutes, leaving would be buyers thinking what just happened?
Sign up for swim lessons is exactly like that.
First come, first serve baby. I can't be waiting two weeks for my kid's instructor to decide whether she's in Pike 1 or Pike 2.
The early bird gets the worm, or in our case the most ideal class time, so Mama's got to make some big decision here.
As it is Sunday night, sign up's begin on Monday, which gives us one night to decide where to put Mo.
That night, after the girls are sleeping, I broach the subject with Bry. Filling him in with the brief conversation with B, the paper, and my own professional opinion of the situation.
"Well, sounds like we should sign her up for Pike 1 again." he starts. "I mean, this way she'll be comfortable and everything."
"Really?" I say. "I definitely was thinking Pike 2."
"But B said, she's close, not there all the way yet. I wouldn't want her to hate it, you know? It's only been two sessions." he continues.
"Ah, she'll do fine!' I say confidently.
"Jac, she's only four. It's no big deal". he finishes. "We'll sign up later tonight".
"I guess you're right." I concede. "Pike 1 it is then."
And then like good parents everywhere, later that night,
Two days later, I wake in a panic. My heart is beating fast, and a cold sweat has broken out over my brow.
I shove Bry awake. "We forgot to sign up the girls for swimming. We're going to get stuck with some crappy time!"
Getting downstairs a few minutes later he pulls the website on the computer.
"Saturday at nine, right? for both girls, right? This way it'll be easy for all of us." he asks.
"Sounds like a plan" I say.
"Um," he coughs, "We got a problem. Pike 1 is full."
"Is Pike 2 open?" I ask, making sure my eyes meet his.
"Well, yeah. But I thought.." he starts.
"Don't think. Sign her up for Pike 2." I assert. "She'll be fine."
"I'm holding you personally responsible if the shit hits the fan on this one" he says, securing Mo a space in the Pike 2 class.
"She'll be awesome." I say, "I just know it:"
Saturday morning comes and she is awesome.
For the record, it was me who never had any doubts that it would be any other way.
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