I'm not sure exactly what happened. I've been "swimming" with 6-yr old Jr. a few times a week since school ended. I put "swimming" in quotation marks because mostly what he's been doing is walking around in the water, splashing, going down the slides at the pool, and jumping to me. I've tried working on actual swimming, but while he was convinced that he could swim better than me, he couldn't make it more than ten feet without needing help.
He took the parent-child swimming lessons for what seemed like forever, and took one session of official swimming lessons in a class setting. He did great. Passed to the next level, no problem. Except that his friend from his class didn't pass, and when Jr. had to sit on the side of the pool without a familiar face, he freaked out (if this sounds a little familiar, you may have just read my previous blog) and wouldn't participate. That was last year and was our last experience with swimming lessons.
So, to recap: he was comfortable in the water but couldn't swim more than 10 feet. And then he went to California with J. and Jocko. They did more than their share of swimming in J's uncle's pool. J. doesn't swim much, so it fell to Jocko to swim with Jr. Jocko, he's 16. He's a great kid, a great brother, but I guess without me there to hover or make sure he was right there with Jr., he pushed him a little more. Apparently he had Jr. swimming "from flotation device to flotation device" (in Jr.'s words).
We got to Hannibal and put Jr. in the pool...and he was swimming. First, along the wall. Then, from me to the wall. Then, across the hotel pool. I was amazed. Strike one for the hovering Mommy school of swimming.
Today, we swam at our local Y. Because we'd had some passing storms and the sky was still looking ominous, we opted for the Y with the indoor pools (we are lucky to have two fantastic YMCA facilities in our town. One has a nice outdoor pool; the other has two indoor pools.). Jr. wanted to go to the bigger, deeper, colder pool, but I pulled rank and opted for the warmer pool. However, he was jumping into the pool and swimming to me (about half the length of the pool at this point) and complaining because his half-jump/half-dive (really more of a belly flop) was hurting his stomach. Since the smaller pool only goes to 5 feet deep, I offered to take him to the other pool if he wanted to try to dive in.
The diving part didn't go so well (Hey, I'm not a swimming teacher. Clearly.), so we ended up just swimming around. He swam from the rope in the middle of the pool to the end of the shallow end. Then, I asked him if he wanted to try to swim the whole length of the pool (25 yards), and he agreed.
I really didn't think he could do it, honestly. Two weeks ago the kid couldn't swim.
The two of us went to the lane right along the wall, he pushed off, and I swam along with him. He made it the whole length of the pool!! Talk about proud...Wow!
Afterwards, we were talking, and I said something about needing to start swimming more when I get ready to try a triathlon. Of course, he asked what that was, and when I told him what it was, he said, "Oh. Yeah. I could do that."
Now, mind you, he can't ride a bike. But at this point, I'm not putting anything past him. :)