Friday, July 15, 2011

Big Little Fish

Hunter's never been a lover of the water.  He's always hated splash parks.  And the bucket at Hawaiian Falls.  And sprinklers.  Heck, he even hates when he gets splashed by his sister in the bathtub.  Until he turned 4, that is.  Four has been the year of change for our sweet boy.  He is slowly but surely outgrowing (some of) his timid ways and becoming much more rough and tumble.  Well maybe that's a little bit of an exaggeration.  He's definitely not tackling kids in the park or anything, but you can see a sliver of rough and tumble in him. 

So now that he's a big 4 year old, he tolerates the water much better, and although he still won't play in a splash park, he'll let us hold him in the pool and actually have fun.  And we even get the added bonus of not having to feel his little fingernails clawing into our shoulders as we walk him around the pool.  He holds on to us a little more loosely now...much less like a death grip.

Although I have seen these changes over the past several months, I was still a little nervous as we loaded the car to drive to his first ever swim lesson last week, especially when I heard his little voice say, "I don't want to put my face in the water." from the back seat.

The first session was rough, y'all.  Who am I kidding?  The first 6 (of 8) sessions were rough.  There were lots and lots of tears.  This is pretty much the face I got every time I told him to hop in the pool...
Well that or eyes welling with tears in a look of sheer terror.  He always begged me to walk him to the pool, which of course I did, and he would just sit in the same spot waiting for his turn while the other kids would swim and jump and frolic around him in between theirs.  That really didn't bother me at all, though.  Quite the opposite really, I love his sweet, thoughtful nature.  The painful part was to sit there and do nothing as his lip began to quiver when his name was called or when he'd beg me to take him home while Ms. Patti was working with him.

It did get better as the days went on, and by the sixth day he was swimming.  And with minimal tears.  It was unbelievable, and definitely assured me that I made the right decision not to pull him out after the first day.  Which you know took ever fiber of my soft-hearted mommy being.

Here's Hunter on his kick board on day 6...

And day 7...

And to our amazement, he was swimming on day 7...




Here's some super short videos of him on day 7...
video

video

James and I have watched those countless times.  We are so impressed with Ms. Patti and SO proud of Hunter.  My heart would swell everyday when I would watch him take his mini-dive into the water.  I know that took so much courage for him!

Look for us at the pool.  We'll be the ones crazily cheering on our 4 year old as he swims across the water!

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