Today is Day #2 of Bryce's swimming lessons. He is doing amazingly well. I'm so proud of him. Today he put his face under water, blew bubbles, kicked his legs while moving forward, moved his arms a little, etc. I watched in disbelief. My oldest child is growing up. Sniff.
Last summer I can distinctly recall taking the boys to Buckner Park for fun in the water. It was the hottest day of summer. Ethan, only a few months old at the time, was crying, hungry, needy. Typical baby at that age. Bryce couldn't make up his mind if he wanted to play in the playground or in the splash pad. He told me water, so I got him changed into his swim diaper and trunks. Suddenly, he decided Noooooooooo!!! Water. Bad!!! Took off toward the playground. VERY hot asphault burned his feet, making him scream all the more intensely. This scenario replayed itself what felt like 50 times at the time (though looking back, I'm sure it was less than five times). Finally, a stressed out, overwhelmed Mom gave up and took the kids home. I think I was in tears as much as Bryce was about his burnt feet. Would he ever get used to water?
We went back to the same splash pad a couple weeks later as a family this time. With Tim's help, one of us was able to concentrate on Bryce. He was able to enjoy running around this time much better. We also set up a kiddie pool at home. He was still awfully cautious, though....
Fast forward to this summer. I don't recall the exact order of events but it goes something like this. Splash pad once or twice = disaster. We went with friends and Bryce wanted absolutely nothing to do with it. He sat by himself next to our bag of water-fun goodies. I would have given up, like last summer, but this time Ethan was old enough to semi-enjoy the experience. He's kinda at that fearless age. He takes off on his own. So I wasn't going to take away a fun time for Ethan just because Bryce wanted nothing to do with it.
We went over to a neighbor's large kiddie pool and after much hesitation and still quite cautious, he started to have a good time. Perhaps a turn in the right direction?
Then we met with friends from Columbus in Indianapolis for a fun afternoon at the Children's Museum. That night we stayed the night in Greenfield at a hotel with a pool before going to see Thomas The Train the next day. That night at the pool was another pull-hair-out moment. It was like pulling teeth to get Bryce in that pool. After a solid 30-45 minutes of him crying and screaming, he eventually calmed down and I think he even smiled a time or two. Little did I know then, how much working through that with him would help.
Since then we've been to a splash pad twice and he's had a blast. Finally. And we went to a friend's in-ground pool last week. I even dunked him! He wanted to try on goggles so after I got that on him, I told him, "We're going to try something. You can keep your eyes open. I'll plug your nose." Did those things and dunked him!! He only threw a minor fit for a few minutes.
Yesterday and today I've realized the baby steps it has taken to get to this point. At his first swim lesson yesterday, he actually got in the pool by himself! I was utterly amazed by this, given how cautious he had been in the past. He'd never gotten in a pool without clinging onto us for dear life. Even more, he looked like he was having fun! Today at swimming, Mr. Dave taught Bryce how to blow bubbles under water. He did it without hesitation. Mr. Dave gave him a push towards the steps and side of the pool and Bryce went under water but was able to right himself all the while moving his legs and arms in swimming motions. I still can't believe what I saw this morning. My son is able to do stuff I never have been able to do. I didn't take swim lessons as a child and have always been very uneasy with water. I'm still not very good with it, although I have been wake boarding and scuba diving. I digress. My little man is growing up!!!