Monday, July 18, 2011

Swimming in Tears

We have survived our first day of swimming lessons -- actually they (Isaac and Aidan) LOVED it!  What a difference from the last time.

Aidan has tried swimming lessons before -- tried might be too generous a word -- he was enrolled in swimming lessons before.  He was all ready, even excited, to go, but when the time came, he wouldn't even get in the water ... tears, many, many tears.  We had been swimming before -- in that very pool -- so I knew that he was not scared of the water, as the instructor suspected, but nothing I said would convince him to get in the water.  He lacked confidence and after 2 lessons, we threw in the towel (the swimming towel, that is!).

Today, he did everything that he was asked to do with no questions or hesitation!  Then, the hitch ... with only a few minutes remaining, he had to go to the bathroom.  He was excused to do so, but by the time he returned, the lesson was over.  More tears and utter sadness.  He was so upset over missing the last couple of minutes of his lesson!  After many assurances that we would be back tomorrow, he recovered and starting telling me all about his lesson with great enthusiasm ... "did you see me ...?"  What a difference from last time.

I know that there were people out there who believed that I should have been harder and made him stay in the lesson -- after all he has to learn these things, right?  But my reasons for letting him out of it were similar to keeping him out of school and start homeschooling (another decision that many people were unsure about) -- he simply wasn't ready.  It is not that he doesn't have to learn these things, but I believe that it is much better for him (and all children) to learn them on his own terms.

He has come so far in the last year and he did it all on his own (with plenty of encouragement, of course).  He now knows that he can go out and try new things, talk to people, and I'll be there waiting for him when he is done.  We don't usually celebrate tears, but in this case, I'm celebrating what the tears represent -- independence and self confidence in my previous clingy leg attachment!  And maybe just a little bit of "told you so"-ness -- just a tiny bit!


  1. I can totally relate. Our six-year-old is wired the same way: it takes a lot of encouraging, and sometimes a couple of attempts, to get him to try anything new. I'm learning the delicate balance of knowing when to push, and when to back off and let it go.

    Enjoying your blog - looks like we have a lot in common!

  2. Good for him! I agree about the beauty of hs'ing! My mom was shocked that my 7 year old wouldn't read her her something on a card, she simply didn't like being put on the spot. When my mom left I asked Maria if she needed help reading it, she simply said, "No, I can read", and proceeded to read me everything in sight!!! Here I had been taking it easy with her only doing BOB books. Well silly me, in my taking it easy on her, she had taught herself how to read! lol! Kids will do everything in their own time, not ours. ;)

  3. Love it! Hooray for Aidan and a mama who cares more about her kids than what others think of her. The last time our Ben was enrolled in swimming lessons was three years ago. The instructor poured a bucket of water over his head with no notice and Ben just stood up and walked out. We've spent our summers swimming with him since then. He announced yesterday that he wants to be a life-guard and can't wait until 1:00 pm today, when he'll be tested to be placed in swimming lessons once again. He'll go to that same pool and show the life-guard that he can stick his own head under the water ... and lots more ;-).


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