Friday, August 19, 2016

More pool talk

I've been meaning to write for several days in a row, but things have been busy around here. I've had meetings for school stuff on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday; swimming lessons on Tuesday and Thursday mornings; in addition to everything we normally do. This Friday we were actually scheduled for play group in the morning and ukulele in the afternoon, but we're taking the day off and not going anywhere (thanks to Zoë, who is running a fever).

On Monday we had Family Night at the home of Rachel's now-former primary teacher. We're so sad about this shakeup because we love her teacher (Sister N) so much! She hosted a little family night party for the class as a final hurrah. It was fun to get to spend time with some other families in the ward, but it was especially fun for me to see how much the children's swimming has improved over the summer.

We went to Sister N's house at the beginning of summer for a pool party as well. Way back when Miriam was still wearing ear plugs because she'd just gotten over her hard-to-vanquish ear infection and we didn't want to risk getting another one (we've since relaxed); way back when Benjamin was worrisome enough that we kept him in the puddle jumper; way back when Zoë preferred to be held in the water and wouldn't dream getting off the top step of the pool.

We've gone swimming practically every day this summer and every time we go I (try to) make sure I have the kids do something swimming-lessons-ish. I either assign them a number of laps to swim or have them practice a less-familiar stroke (I'm not in the "swimmers should only swim the fast way" camp (I love me some breaststroke and butterfly)). When they complain about having lessons I say, "Yes, yes, you can swim. But I want to see improvement. You can always improve."

And I believe that is true. No one ever "finishes" learning anything.

We are here to learn and to grow and to change. It would be so sad to me if my children didn't become better, stronger, faster swimmers with the number of hours we've clocked at the pool (just as I'd be sad if they stopped making improvements in any facet of their lives) and so I've challenged them in ways they haven't necessarily appreciated being challenged in.

I've been a little too close to the project to see if all our practicing has paid off, but on Monday night as I kept an eye on Zoë (who was jumping into the pool and paddling around in the puddle jumper) I also got to watch all three of my kids play in the deep end with Andrew (and all the other kids who were proficient swimmers). Sister N was adding some water to her pool, so the hose was running—cool and refreshing (quite a contrast to the lukewarm-tub temperature of the pool, which was not so refreshing)—and Andrew put his thumb over the end to make a lovely arch of water. The kids were taking turns jumping through it into the pool, swimming to the side, and lining up to do it all over again. It was the hit of the night.

And there was Benjamin, acting like a big kid, voluntarily jumping into the deep end and swimming to the side with a huge grin plastered to his face, and I thought, "Wow. Things have changed quite a bit since May!"

Rachel and Miriam have improved as well, but that was marked more by how well they raced their dad across the pool than simply by jumping into the deep end.

They were all so excited to have Daddy come swimming with us. He's been so busy writing and researching lately that he hasn't been swimming with us since we went to the beach at the beginning of July. I told them that we'd make him come with us another time before pool season is over.

1 comment:

  1. Kudos to all the kiddos for their swimming improvement!