One of my favorite pictures of my grandson Nate, is the one of him at the July 4th picnic, where he appears with a little white hat, the type that has a band under his chin. Jean and Steve had invited us to a lovely day at the lake and it was Nate's first experience in the water. The water was nice and warm that day and I waded in to play. Finally, he relaxed enough to enjoy the water, going in slightly. He was around the same age as Ryan is today, six months.. Clearly Ryan who watches his big brother swim each week, wants to just jump right in.
It was fun to watch the two brothers play ball tonight. Ryan can sit up just enough and long enough to try and push the brightly colored plastic yard ball in the direction of his brother. And the laughter tells us that they both are thrilled. Nate has waited a long time to have a brother, one he can play with.
The big event was today, and unfortunately Ryan missed it. He and daddy had a doctor's appointment and had to leave early. Nathan is now in a new level and each week, we notice the improvement, especially the confidence that he can do it. Remember he is the child that cried initially. Today, I watched him swim with just holding on to the noodle. No floater was used as previously. He swam on his back and then did something like the dog paddle, with longer strokes. Of course, he likes the slide, and jumps in with a splash.
All of a sudden, the instructor had the kids line up like little ducks and head to the end of the Olympic pool toward the deep end. Sure enough, they swam in the deepest water all the way down the roped off area, where the adults do laps. He took the lead arriving at the end of the pool first and alone for a bit and I was there at the finish line to congratulate him. While he was swimming he was calling out to me, "grandma, grandma" I knew he wanted me to see what he did. You bet I saw.
After the lap back, he was required to hold his breath and swim under the ropes. I didn't think he would do it. But, no problem, he did it twice. Today marked a level of achievement that said he did something significant. His father was surprised also, like me, he had doubts that he would do it.
And I was there to see it. As kids, we swam in a mud hole, a pond that had leaches in it. They didn't have a YMCA or lessons. We learned to swim the only way we could, with our friends. It is so good to see him having so much fun, in a safe environment with instructors that know how to bring out the best of each of their students.
Nate was happy to tell mom and daddy and grampy all about his experience. After all this was a great achievement and a marker on his way to becoming a very skilled swimmer.
I was so proud of him, and I'm going to remember it for a long time.
5 weeks ago