Swimming played a significant part of my childhood. There was several years that I spent 5 days a week swimming laps at the Hollywood YMCA (which, BTW, no longer exists!) in Portland. I've always loved the water - the feel of it, the discipline, the burn of my muscles.
Now, while I have a deep love and affection for other sports that I grew up playing; I would never force my child to learn how to through a rise-ball in softball.
But swimming is one of those things I believe you HAVE to get your children to learn. They don't have to be on the swim team; but they have to know how to tread water and swim back to the edge of the pool.
We made the commitment this past summer to get the kids into swimming lessons. And, trust me, it's a commitment. Classes fill up so fast - with current users and residents - that I literally had to log onto their website AT MIDNIGHT to insure a place in our desired classes.
Since both kids had basically NO experience in the water outside splashing at the beach, they both had to begin in the first class for each age group: Sis in Preschool 1 and Bubba in School-Age 1. Sis took to the water a bit better than her brother. He would barely dunk his head in the water for the first few classes. We soon figured out that this was due to the fact that he couldn't quite figure out how to CLOSE his mouth before going under the water, and was sucking down a fair amount of chlorinated water.
While Sis was pleased to go to the twice a week lessons, Bubba wasn't enjoying swallowing all that water and started to balk at going. He never really complained, per se, he just wasn't excited about them. And honestly, I couldn't blame him. And Sis graduating into the next level while he did not didn't help either.
Enter Great Wolf Lodge. As a motivation for continuing in the lessons, we've promised a trip once their swimming improved. It worked.
And somewhere along the way, Bubba figured out how to actually close his mouth BEFORE his head went under. He discovered how to kick his legs AND rotate his arms at the same time. Just a week ago I saw him do a somersault under water. Amazing.
Tonight was the final night of our third session of classes. It appears that the third time was a charm for Bubba - he finally passed and will be heading to School-Age 2! He was quite pleased with himself and so are we. Sis will be moving up as well (she'll be in Preschool 3!).
I better start looking into reservations at Great Wolf; I have a feeling we'll need them soon.