I finally did it. I gave in and signed them all up for swim lessons. The time had finally come to acknowledge my children’s need to learn how to swim.
My kids have always been like fish; they love the water! I had no idea what this would be like and, with a lot of anxiety, they started lessons this week. Knowing there will always be issues with paying attention and actually listening to instruction, I wasn’t sure if I was prepared to watch this experience unfold with my eyes open. 😉
As anticipated, the first two classes were met with not listening, playing around, hanging on the lanes, splashing each other with water, clinging on the teacher, yelling and screaming, crying and fussing…probably even gnashing of teeth. You know those moments in a parent’s life that bring every other parent around you to blaze evil eyes at you. When people roll their eyes and huff at the noise coming from the other side of the pool. Or, the looks. The long, confused looks of wondering why that girl has no hair.
So now I get the chance to reflect on their first two lessons after a phone call by the Aquatics Manager. As she asked me if I can join my kids in the pool for the rest of the lessons, this has reminded me that I don’t have to be embarrassed by the struggles that my kids face as they learn how to swim.
I get it.
Every parent wants the compliant kid who smiles dutifully when asked to follow directions or carry out a request. But, this is not my Jasmine and Joel. They do things their own way in their own time. I’m still hopeful that the remainder of their lessons will be more productive. I look forward to being in the pool with them as they learn to swim. Heaven knows I am still learning to parent.
To help me through, here are 6 “rules” I will follow:
1. Don’t overcomplicate things. Follow the teacher.
2. Don’t worry about what you look like. Or what your kids look like.
3. Learning is messy and chaotic. No one gets it right the first time.
4. Don’t take this so seriously that you forget to have fun. Swim lessons don’t define your life.
5. Always believe that the next lesson will be better than the one before.
6. Be firm when you need to be but be willing to step away for their growth and development.