August 19, 2005

My swimming stars

The kids spend so much time in pools and in swimming lessons that for the past few years I've been training them and me not to get too wrapped up in patches (received for passing a level) or stickers (received when you don't pass) or passing or levels. It's the skills and proficiency, and enjoyment too, that matter. I'm so delighted and proud that they leap into the water and get their faces wet bravely and exuberantly, sail off ropes, and cartwheel off diving boards.

Which is why I surprised myself by how giddy I got this morning when all three kids walked out of the weekly swim class with patches and certificates to show that they had each passed their respective levels this week -- Davy, level 3; Daniel, level 4; and Laura, level 6 (there are 12 levels in total in the Canadian Red Cross's Aquaquest program, geared for kids up to 14 years old, and my three have generally been the youngest and smallest in their classes). I am definitely one proud bragging mama now.

I had thought that the boys would probably ace their levels, this being the second attempt for both. We had talked after class last week (after receiving, ahem, stickers) about what they needed to do to improve. In Davy's case, holding those back floats and front floats for a few more seconds, and in Daniel's case, keeping his head down and practicing the 15-meter endurance swim. But I really thought that Laura would need several rounds in level 6 before passing, especially with the 50-meter endurance swim and more advanced life-saving skills.

We celebrated afterwards with enormous Lifesaver popsicles sold at the pool, and then promptly drove over to Dad's worksite to share the good news. And I have to admit that as tired as I am of sitting through two weeks in a row of swimming lessons, there's a teeny part of me that's ready to sign them up for round three on Monday, because they are so eager for more pool time and because they could so easily capitalize on this new momentum. Maybe I should just ask Tom if we can make it to the pool for the public swim tomorrow afternoon. Mmm, that's a plan. And I'm definitely reconsidering swim club for next spring, although we'll have to rejigger it to make it fit our schedule; Monday through Thursday, every week in May and June, from 5 pm until 6:30 is just way too much to be fun or nice.

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