Tuesday, June 14, 2005

To Swim or Not To Swim

On Sunday, we headed to our local lake for a morning full of fun in the water and the sun. It was about 80 degrees and a bit humid, but not too bad. It was about 10 am and there was only one or two other families at the beach. We almost had the place to ourselves...nice.

M kept walking towards the water to put our towels down. I had to hold my tongue because I thought he was getting too close and we'd get soaked when the tide came in. Luckily I did hold my tongue because the tide doesn't come in at a small lake!

We all went in for a family swim and had a blast. The water was shallow for a long ways out. R and T could touch for a really long time. They were so happy, collecting rocks, splashing, and bobbing and kicking. We swam out to the bouy that designated the swim area -- it was deeper here, but the boys had blown up swim rings around them and did fine. I told the boys that sometimes those rings go up over your head if you're not careful, and that all they had to do was kick-kick-kick and they'd get their head up above the water. They had a good time with those rings.

One bouy was tipped over and R investigated and found the hole that let in water to make it too heavy to float -- quite a sleuth. T would go under water, touch the bottom, and shoot up like a rocket. Lots of fun.

We got the kids closer to shore and M and I got out and sat on the beach watching the kids with smiles on our faces. We both love the water and love it that our kids love the water too. T came out and collected sea shells (or is it lake shells?) We called both boys in for our picnic lunch (cheese sandwiches, cherries, and juice for the boys; cashews, cheese, and pickles for M and me. - Atkins, ya know.)

M went back in with the boys for a long time -- I could hear lots of laughter from all three of them. It was fun to watch. R is very proud that he invented a new sport -- underwater rock climbing. I'm not really sure what it entails, but he talked about it all day.

When it was time to come in, IT happened. Tommy slipped out of his ring. It happened for only two seconds; it wasn't even a big concern to M and me. He was in water that was only up to his belly button. Well, let me tell you, it was a concern to him! He was a-screaming and a-crying! Poor boy was scared to death! (I SWEAR it was for only two seconds, but you'd never know it by his carrying-on!) He was yelling "I'm NEVER going in the water again!" and "I hate the lake" and "I was sooo scared!" We had a really hard time calming him down. Even though we were planning on going, I thought that it was pretty important that we get that boy back in the water so he remembered how much fun it was! Back in the saddle and all that. (Plus, he was going to start swimming lessons the next day. I wanted that to go well!)

He did not want to go in. Nope. Not gonna do it.

Finally, M talked him into going in the water up to his knees. He did it, but he wasn't happy about it. I could see M getting frustrated, so I whipped off my shorts and top and decided to get wet again for the cause. I went to T and he was not happy. I kept walking out farther and he yelled "The water is higher than my knees, daddy said I only had to go to my knees!!!" I convinced him to go to my knees and went in a bit reluctantly, but he went in. He even broke a smile once or twice, but it wasn't easy. Finally I got him to splash me (which isn't usually allowed) and he had fun. Whew. Mission completed. We went home, hoping (and praying) for the best on Monday at swim class.


Swim Class had two black marks on it from the get-go:
1. R and T were in two different classes, which was fine for R, but not for T. Quote: "I never have fun without R." End quote.
2. T had the whole scary episode the day before.

I think we had less than a fifty percent chance that things would go well.

M braved it and went with a positive attitude. A postitive attitude that lasted about half way through T's 20 minute poolside fit that he pitched. Poor T. Poor M! M went from the postitive attitude to empathy to consoling to cheer leader to consoling to frustration to making deals to anger to completely fed up. T wouldn't go in the water with the class. He wouldn't sit by the pool with his feet in the water. He wouldn't sit down by the wall to watch the class (I think this is when the anger set in, I know it would have with me if I were there!). So, M took T to watch R's class, which went swimmingly (sorry about the pun, but I just had to use it). R used a kickboard, practice his strokes, and practice breathing. He likes his coach and had a great time. M called me with a report of the whole thing and my heart went out to him.

Somehow, M got a brainstorm to go to the lake after swim class. The very lake where the beforementioned incident happened. M took R and T in the water and they had a great time. Both kids had a great time....swimming in the lake....a great time. M left me a voicemail, saying "T's cured." Cured? How can that be? But he was. He went to swimming class today with nary a whimper and had a blast. He says his coach is pretty and had fun swimming and playing in the pool. Allelluia!


GreatAuntieP said...

and Amen!! Good going to M!! How great to have a nice lake just 10 minutes away.

AJ said...

What an amazing brainstorm! I'll bet M was so proud, man! That is some story, and I'm wondering if T ever had anything to say about it all?

Also amazing, and just as mysterious, is I'm finally able to post a comment!

CaliforniaGrammy said...

Whew! You had me giggling, laughing out loud, sighing, and glad I have a daughter and son-in-law as great parents as you guys are. Way to go!

So glad T is cured, and R is such a great swimmer too. T just needed some time out and back he went into the water! I bet it was a big "whew!" for you and M too!