Thursday 28 October 2010

In the swim

I've always been a bit of a water baby. I love being in the water. The feel, the weightlessness and sensation of being underwater. As a very young child, I used to sit on the bottom of the pool and was constantly being 'rescued' by well-meaning strangers. I'm not a great or a strong swimmer, laps bore me senseless. You're more likely to find me in the 'splash and play' section of the pool.

I really want my girls to love the water like I do. I have so many happy memories of summers spent at the beach or in the pool. Lil-lil started out liking the water but somewhere along the way it all went a little wrong. She didn't hate it, but she didn't want to put her head under and was really anxious in the water. She started protesting every time we went to swimming lessons, once there she didn't mind the lessons but would negotiate endlessly with the teacher about what she would and wouldn't do. It was painful for everyone and I became a little despondent as things seemed to be going backwards.

At the end of last term, the head of the swim school, who had been filling in for Lil-lil's regular teacher, pulled me aside and suggested that things weren't going too well. (Tell me something I don't know!)
So, we decided to put her into a holiday intensive program and I researched which teachers would be best able to help her. Preparing myself for a week of hell, I was pleasantly surprised when things began to improve almost straightaway. Lil loved the teacher and we enrolled in her class this term. Each week, Lil-lil grows more confident and she's improving out of sight. I wouldn't have believed it if you'd told me this a month or so ago.

I'm so proud of her, voluntarily putting her head under the water, happy to put her hand up to try something new and improving more and more each week. We're going away in a couple of weeks – a beach holiday with a visit to a water park – so it's going to be magic to see Lil actually enjoy herself in the water.

That's my proud parental boast for the day!


  1. HA! We both did a swim post today!

    I love swimming too.

    Abi has a love/hate relationship with water. She loathes baths (scared of the plug) but loves the pool. She swam in the ocean ALOT last summer. Hopefully she will do the same this year, although the waves scare her a little.


  2. It's amazing how the right learning environment helps kids to thrive isn't it? I am so glad Lil is finding the fun in swimming.

  3. hurray! it sounds great... i like water but i don't know why i am so prone to water-borne accidents...

  4. Know where you are coming from Rin. As you know, I confess that I am a fanatical ocean swimmer. Last season I competed in 9 races. I am a bit less happy on the days that I can't get to squad training. I kind of just expected my boys to love swimming lessons...but no. Finn (now 7) really only started to enjoy swimming last year...and they are both very timid in the water. Oh well, good reminder for me that they are their own little people...not me. But I still have a secret desire for one of them to be a really really good swimmer (just so I have someone to talk to about technique, split times, catch, and the list goes on_. :) Oh, and I may just channel my swimming desires through my cute little niece Lily!


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