Swimming lessons. They are a must. We live in Arizona and pools are as common as anything else. There is a lot of risk that comes with having a pool and a lot of enjoyment too. The risk, with a two year old, far out weighs the reward. As a result of a scare that occurred last summer, Avery was signed up for ISR swim lessons for this summer. ISR is Infant Swimming Resource. ISR is built on the premiss of teaching infants and small children survival skills within water. It was recommended to me by multiple moms and once Avery was signed up, more moms came out of the woodwork identifying their success stories.
This is simply a longer story than signing Ave up for swim classes. It was last summer and the middle of the day. As a family we had just moved into our first house together, blended and excited for what was to come. Our back yard was (and still is) a bit of an oasis. The pool sparkles beautiful blue always, the trees and cacti were a lush green and flowing in a mild summers wind. We were all playing by the pool, one minute laughing, laying in the sun, kicking and giggling, the next moment, wondering where Avery was. Her noise and giggles had turned to silence. We looked over the pool top to see she was bobbing just below the pools surface. Her arms were out, bobbing, looking like a human cross submerged in water. Her eyes were open and there was a fear, a terror. We pulled her above the water and she threw up her weight in water. That moment and that day passed. Doodle settled back into calm and went back to playing in the water. But, there was a fear that grew fierce and quickly.
In the water, Avery was and has been a cling on, she will not leave the first step. When we carry her into the water, fear controls her, takes over her whole being, she is terrified and begs to get back to her step. There is a lack of confidence and fear, yet she shows she loves the water. Having confidence and skills to save herself would change everything. And for me, in that moment, in that moment when she was bobbing under water, I knew… I knew that if she ever made it out to the pool on her own and fell in the water, that was it. For the past year, I cannot sleep until I check every door in the house and even once I have confirmed, there is a chance that once nightly I will wake and check again. My fear of Avery slipping in has brought me to tears on more than one occasion.
It is more than just signing Doodle up for swim lessons. It is peace of mind, confidence, sleep and happiness.
This past Monday was Avery’s first class with ISR. Five days a week, ten minutes a day. Day one I sat on the edge. Terror in my daughters eyes and cries for mommy to save her, that is all I heard for 10 minutes and for those ten minutes silent tears streamed down my face. Day two… there was apprehension in getting in, but when she was in the water and learning she was peaceful, calm and smiling. Day three, she got in on her own, she smiled, she tried, she did amazing. Day four floating was part of the ten minute curriculum and there was a confusion in the water. Friday, Friday was tiring and tough and focused.
Avery made it through week one. I made it through week one. Here is what I know to be true. Ten minutes is exhausting, incredibly exhausting. Week one flew by. This is the absolute right decision for our family. Avery is learning skills needed to thrive near and in the water. I see her skills developing and see her confidence growing and I simply cannot wait for six weeks time to pass. In life I try not to hurry time, but these six weeks, they can hurry on by and then I’d love to slow time.
This swim lesson thing is cool, really cool.