Do you all remember one of my first swimming posts of the summer with the picture of Rylie sitting on the step crying? Well, with the help of some great products from SwimWays, she developed confidence and lost her fear of the water as the summer went on. She finally started swimming without any floatation devices, but she was still fearful to really let go and just swim. I wanted to put both of the kids in swimming lessons, but since they had to go four days a week, it just wasn't possible at the time due to our work schedules.
When my mom moved over here a few months ago, we decided to go ahead and put the kids in swimming lessons. I found a great instructor who gave private lessons at her home, and my mom has been taking Rylie and Bryce for several weeks now. Both kids have improved their swimming skills just in a few short weeks, but I am absolutely amazed at how far Rylie has come. After her first week of lessons, she seemed to be totally over her fear and had no problems jumping in the deep end and swimming the entire length of the pool.
I was finally able to go to a lesson last week, and I am so glad I did. It turns out that the lesson I attended was Rylie's next to last lesson. Tracy (her swim instructor) decided that she knew how to swim and the next lesson would be her last. My mom was told to bring her in her clothes because her last test would be to swim fully clothed. Rylie asked me if I could come watch her swim in her clothes, and luckily I was able to leave work early again that day. I certainly didn't want to miss her "graduation" from swimming lessons.
We arrived at Tracy's pool and Rylie got in with her clothes on. I was in the bathroom with Bryce when she first got in, but this is what I saw when I came out...
...fully clothed, soaking wet, and just as happy as could be.
Her first test was floating with her clothes on. She did great! In fact, she seemed to float better with her clothes on than I had seen the day before. She did this multiple times and counted to 10 or 15 each time.
Next up was swimming. It wasn't easy, but Rylie powered through that pool like nothing. She swam back and forth several times, even with her shoes weighing her down. She kept saying "this is really hard to do with shoes on!"
At the end of her last lesson, Tracy took her out in the middle and let her go. She wanted to see if she would swim or float. Well my little girl doesn't like to be still, so as I suspected, she swam!
I am now 100% confident that if Rylie ever did fall in the pool, she could get herself to safety. Obviously this does not replace parental supervision and water safety rules, but you just never know what can happen in the blink of an eye.
Rylie was so proud of herself, and we are so very proud of her! She is now a little fish in the pool, and I finally have a swimmer!
Stay tuned for an update on Bryce. While he probably won't "graduate" from swimming lessons this year, he has also made tremendous progress and I no longer have heart palpitations when he is near the pool...
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