I was never a very good swimmer, so in some ways it has been important to me that the boys learn how to swim as soon as they could. Like so many experiences, the kid will learn when the kid is ready. We tried swimming lessons last year and Ry made progress but it just didn’t come together as well as I had hoped. This summer he seems to be making leaps and bounds with swimming. In fact, he requested to go in the deep end of the pool the other day.
I suspect most six year olds are like this. They think they can do more than they can do. I was reluctant to let him go. But my wife, a very good swimmer said she’d be near by. The lifeguard observed them and said Ry had to take a basic swim test to stay in the deep end. I watched as the senior lifeguard instructed the junior lifeguard of the rules. I didn’t know what to expect. I told him what I believed, “Ry, you can definitely make it from the lane divider to the end of the pool and you can wade in the water.” He was less certain.
One quality I admire about this kid is his willingness to try. He decided to go for it. He did the free style, and when he was tired the doggy paddle, and he did it! And then the senior guard indicated he needs to wade in the water. Every time the junior guard would make eye contact with the senior, he’d shake his head, as if to say “not long enough.” I could feel my entitled parent wanting to take charge, so Ry wouldn’t go through the disappointment. But at the same time, I believed he needs to experience both learning sometimes its enough and sometimes its not. In this case, it was good enough!
He did it. He crossed into deeper waters and this was just the first test.