May 18, 2011

Face in the water.

Elliot had his first swimming lesson today. This was a BIG DEAL for him. When he was 2 he went under the water and couldn't get up. Donal and I got to him within a few seconds, but it scared the bejezzus out of him and it's been a struggle to get him in the water since.

Anyway, today he made great strides. He was in the pool with the instructor and two littler girls. (We negotiated with the instructor that I was allowed to be in the water, but had to stay on the other side of the pool.) The instructor gave him lots of new things to try - kickboards, floating, swimming through hoops - and Elliot did every single thing without fuss or complaint. He even put his face in the water - something that even the bravest kids give pause for thought. Not once did he come over to me or, in fact, make any kind of meaningful eye contact as a plead for help. Which is probably a good thing; I'm sure he'd have been concerned as I was completely brimming over with pride.

Elliot has lots of super powers, but his bravery is his strongest. I'm so, so proud of him. More importantly, though, he's proud of himself.

As an aside... Despite his overall success, I wouldn't say Elliot actually enjoyed himself. To be honest, though, neither would I. The instructor was not great and very evidently did not want to be teaching 4 year olds how to swim. He barked orders, couldn't keep the three kids together, and gave no consideration that this was the first time EVER that Elliot has even tried to float, swim, kick, etc. For adults whose job it is to work with children, this kind of attitude and behavior is appalling. I wouldn't expect anything more than understanding and courtesy but even this seems too much of a stretch for Joe A. Swimmer. Elliot didn't seem to take any notice, so I'm trying to figure out how to approach the situation. Let sleeping dogs lie, or open the can of worms?

1 June ammendment...
Elliot had his third lesson today and things have gotten much better. I take back my snarky comments about the instructor. Maybe he was having a bad day that day. Maybe I was. Maybe we both were. Sorry, Mr Swim Instructor.


  1. Tell Elliot that I am very proud of him also! He's overcoming his fear of water! Yea!!! As your Mom though I am also proud of you for your encouragement and support without which he might always be afraid. Well done to both of you :)

  2. I've been there Elliot. Good man, good man!
    Cute suit A.

  3. If it makes Elliot seem more brave, I'm 23 and still can't swim. But Well Done!!