I could not be more pleased with Week One of the boys’ swim class. They are enrolled in an intensive swim program (one hour per day for two weeks, Monday through Thursday) at Northside College Prep High School here in Chicago, and it is really wonderful. Both of them are making excellent progress and loving every minute of it, but it was Baxter I watched the most today.
He was swimming independently, head still held just above the water (he hates water on his face) and with flippers on his feet (yes, these), across the width of the pool. But best of all, he was smiling about it. Smiling!
We were promised a 1:3 ratio for the class, but Baxter has a private instructor and Lyle’s instructor has just one other 3-year old in her charge. It appears that there were more high school kids who wanted to work in the program than they anticipated. This means that they are both swimming non-stop for the entire hour. At first, I wondered how that would be, having teenage swim teachers, but I am completely impressed. Baxter looks up to his 14-year old teacher with 100% awe and respect. “He’s twice my age, Mommy!” he told me the first day, and each day since he has come home with some other fact about this slightly older boy who is actually teaching him to swim. Their interactions are very sweet to watch.
Today I saw him allowed to swim over the lane line and into the deep end for the first time. I watched as he glanced up at the diving board, and wondered if they’d let him jump from the diving board by the end of next week. My eyes got a little teary at the thought, because that seemed so advanced from where this kid started on Monday. But the next thing I knew, Baxter was sitting on the side of the pool, taking off his flippers, and shouting “MOMMY!!!” to me up in the bleachers, with an enormous grin. Yes, he was allowed to jump from the diving board. Today. Here’s the proof:
He waited in line and walked to the end of the board without hesitation, jumping straight off and down into the water. He popped right back up and started swimming. He told me later that he was a little frightened, but that he knew his teacher was right below him. (I mean, seriously, what could inspire more confidence than a 14-year old waiting to catch you? Yikes! But for Baxter, this was plenty.)
And so now I am left to wonder, what will next week bring? I cannot wait to find out!