When I was about 7 or so, I had a great babysitter. Her name was Denise Rushing. She lived down the way from our family and I just adored her. She was sweet. Her mom always made the best chocolate chip cookies when we went to her house…and she had a swimming pool. I remember going to her house one hot, summer day to go swimming. I don’t remember the specifics, but I remember being thrown into the deep end of the pool. I could not swim and I panicked. Denise had to jump in to rescue me. That moment forever changed my perception of deep water and learning to swim. My babysitter thought it was funny. My sub-conscience filed it away in the “things to avoid” department. I still can’t swim very well. I probably never will.
My husband and I didn’t want our son to be afraid of water. For four summers, we had signed up our son for week-long swimming lessons at the local pool. He would have an instructor and 3 or 4 fellow students learning to swim. Although he listened and tried to learn, he just didn’t get the hang of things.
We found out that Boy Scouts insists on boys knowing how to swim. Not only knowing how to swim, but swimming well and learning how to save someone that is drowning. We had reached the point where our son HAD to know how to swim. It wasn’t a “if you feel like learning” thing. It was mandatory.
I went to our local pool asking for private lessons. I was told that someone would call me, but after two weeks, I went elsewhere. I messaged our local high school swimming coach. He said he would teach a 20 minute lesson for $30! (Did he think my last name was Rockefeller or something?) I prayed and kept looking. I then remembered that a fellow scout/homeschooler that we know will be training for a lifeguard. Ah ha! Just what I had been praying for!
We hired this wonderful 15 yr. old boy to teach our son to swim. On the first lesson, the boy noticed that our son knew how to swim in the back of his brain. He just needed the confidence and reassurance that he could do it. In five lessons, our son had so much confidence that he started jumping off the high dive into 12 ft. deep water at our local pool. Those lessons were the best $60 I have EVER spent. To see the huge smile on our son’s face when he jumps off the high dive is priceless.
This week he is going to camp. He can’t wait to take his swimming test in order for him to play in the pool. It know he can do it. I never fails to amaze me how many of us just need a push or a “you can do it” from those around us. When we do, we can do anything.