This week Garrett has started swim lessons. He is going for 2 weeks, 4 days a week with a teacher he is familiar with, his gymnastics teacher. Garrett's previous experiences with water have been filled with apprehension so it was important to me to have him exposed with someone he trusts.
He's done a great job this week practicing his kicking, blowing bubbles and playing in the water. He does all of this while either holding on tightly to his teacher, the wall or with his back safely against the edge.
However, this afternoon he decided he was going to climb out of the water to get a toy and when he was making his way back in the water he fell backwards into it. His teacher caught him before he fully submerged but it scared him enough to cry for me & beg to go home. By the end he was screaming so badly I had to step outside where he couldn't see me. His teacher coaxed him into blowing bubbles again and fishing out his toys so he could end the lesson on a positive note.
I must say today we both received a lesson. When he first fell backwards I was actually pretty calm. I knew she was there and he was safe. I didn't react hoping he would follow my lead. Unfortunately he didn't.
After that, my first instinct was to scoop him out of the water and hold him, reassure him that he was safe but I knew that would only undermine the lesson. It killed me to hear him cry out my name and for me to ignore him but if I always run will he ever learn to get up & try again?
Today he experienced fear & I experienced restraint in a controlled environment. Its good we both get to practice where its safe.
On the way home we talked about our weekend & I asked Garrett if he would teach me how to blow bubbles, kick my legs & be a motor boat. He said yes but that Daddy would have to help him with the deep.
This may seem like a ploy to get him back in the water before our next lesson & it is but the truth of the matter is that I can't swim & I am afraid of the water so he is teaching me something after all.