Skip to main content

SafeSplash Week One: Don't Forget the Goggles!

Swimming is a Life Skill
Last night was the first lesson in our SafeSplash adventure. Arrive early and realize that the only drawback of attending swim lessons at an LA Fitness gym at 6:30 p.m. is the full parking lot. I've never belonged to a big commercial gym, so didn't consider it would be crowded right after work, d'oh.

I can tell my son is nervous and I'm glad we arrived early so we could look around. We watch a more advanced class finishing up by throwing rings into the swim lane so they can swim out and dive to the pool floor to retrieve them. (This is important later.)

A pleasant surprise: both the life guard and the instructor, a senior on the high school swimming team, turn out to be friends of my oldest daughter. There's only one other little girl about D's same age in the lesson and while she hops into the pool eagerly, D- is a little more hesitant and he shivers in the water. 

The lesson begins with the instructor asking the two kids to hold their breath and put their heads in the water. My son only goes about 3/4 of the way - to his eyebrows - but he does put his face in the water. He isn't quite sure about laying across the seahorse float pad to kick, but he watches the other girl do it and the natural "I can do that too" streak kicks in.

Group Lessons are good for encouraging kids to try something new.


I can tell from his face that he's scared of falling off and sinking. Next the instructor dribbles water over their head with a little toy cup with holes in the bottom. She takes them out one by one to "swim" - that is kick and move their arms while she holds them. My son clearly is flailing, cheeks puffed up, holding his breath and squinting as the water splashes into his face. 

We didn't bring any goggles. 

The first measure of success I'll be watching for as lessons continue will be if he can get in the water and respond to the instructor without making a face or being scared.


Back floating is next and the other student is not cooperating and getting upset, but the instructor doesn't force or push her, she just gently returns her to the waiting bench. D- is tense, but allows the instructor to gently lay his back, his arm curled round her neck in a choke hold. She is patient and kind.  After a monkey crawl across the pool edge, the two kids get out, hold her hands and jump back in. 

When they return to the PVC bench where they stand in the water, she hands them a ring... and my son's face goes into total panic. He's ready to get out, wants nothing to do with the ring, and I can see that he's thinking they are about to dive deep into the water, but she just asks them to hold it, bend their knees, and place the ring on the bench by their feet  - another activity to get their face and head back in the water. Relief floods over his face and he follows her instructions. 

Note to self: he needs goggles.

When the lesson ends, my son climbs out of the pool saying, "That was fun! Can we come back tomorrow!"  




Popular posts from this blog

Prayer to End the School Year

Another school year is coming to an end.  And what a year the 2017-2018 school year was..... The events of the last 9 months have made me not only thankful to see it end but needing to get on my knees to Thank God for many things.  This school year began with Hurricane Harvey hitting our area and ended with the devastating school shooting at nearby Santa Fe High School. In the middle of the crisis around us there were so many beautiful things, events and people that touched and changed our community and family for the better.  Let's just start with the teachers and administrators who have interacted with my kids this year...  A special social studies teacher that made a fast friend out of my geography obsessed daughter, an ELA teacher who slowly won my oldest daughter over with her love of the written word, a soccer trainer who pushed my son harder than he thought he could handle, and then helped him recognize how that hard work paid off.  What about a school nurse who repeated

My Favorite Catholic Children's Bibles

How do you select a Catholic Children's Bible?  Which children's bible is best for my kids?  Those are questions I get asked all the time.  Searching in my house I discovered almost a dozen different Catholic Bibles for kids or youth on our shelves. When looking for a children's bible or book of bible stories for children, there are several things to take into consideration.  How old is the child?  Do you want something easy to read in story form or a bible with scripture text?  How big or heavy is the book? Is the children's bible a keepsake to commemorate a special event like a baptism, first communion or confirmation? And the answers to these questions might change as the child grows and develops or you have multiple children. With those questions in mind, I'll delve into the Catholic Children's Bibles and Bible Stories we like best of those in our home. My Big Book of Catholic Bible Stories My Big Book of Catholic Bible Stories Compiled by Hei

12 Quotes from St. Teresa of Calcutta

St. Teresa of Calcutta made a deep impression on me as a young girl as I watched her on tv and in news. Who doesn't remember the iconic picture of Mother Teresa with Princess Diana splashed across all magazines, newspapers and news shows?  To me, Saints were people who lived a long time ago, but here she was, a saint in the making.  Mother Teresa was a role model of how to become a Saint in our modern world, by giving her life to God through her dedication to the poor. On her feast day, I want to share with you a few of my favorite quotes from St. Teresa of Calcutta.   Her words are seemingly simple and straightforward but packed with meaning.  My selection comes out of a new favorite book I picked up called, Mother Teresa: Her Essential Wisdom by Carol Kelly-Gangi.  This little book contains hundreds of quotes from St. Teresa of Calcutta centered around specific themes as well as a summary of her biography and quotes about her from others.  "God does not demand that