The first time we took her to the pool (she was about 3 years then), Lil D jumped in with great delight. She loved the water, paddling about with the aid of floaters.
All that changed when she enrolled for a swimming summer camp in our campus. She hated the coach. Worse, she took an accidental dunk in the big pool, from which I had to literally fish her out. That terrified her, and she wouldn’t venture anywhere near the pool for quite some time.
Not knowing how to swim myself, I was very keen on her learning, especially since she appeared to have the aptitude for it. Quelling my own disappointment, I took her to play in the small pool for a long time. I knew she had to get over her fear of water first, and any pushing on my part would surely meet with resistance. It was frustrating sometimes, watching her just splash about. I guess as adults, we get so goal-oriented, we forget what it is to just have fun! 🙂
This summer, I finally enrolled her for the swimming camp again. It helped that her friends were also going to be there. Much before the camp started, we would go to the pool, and Lil D would try so hard to swim by herself. My heart went out to her, trying to put up a brave face when she saw other children swimming, while she hopped about on one foot!
The camp started, and I didn’t expect much, quite frankly. She was still quite terrified, still quite ready to retreat at the first sign of difficulty. DH accompanied her to quite a few classes, and I guess his encouragement helped, since he can swim, unlike me. She came down with infections, and had to skip a couple of sessions as well.
Slowly, she began to pick up the techniques. She learnt to kick, breathe, glide, float, and swim. The big pool still made her cry, but at least she was ready to go half-way across to where the coach stood.
Yesterday was a turning point. Lil D went swimming in the big pool all by herself! Of course, she stayed close to the edges since it’s much shallower, and went like a little fish from point to point. But the glow of pride on her face at her accomplishment was worth everything in the world!
I am so happy for her. Here’s hoping she swims happy for a long, long time!