I'm not sure how exactly it happened. We started doing swimming lessons throught the Park and Rec department when Flower was 18 months, but it was one Tot Spot session in the summer. And then, maybe a couple sessions the year she was 3, and a couple sessions of Tot Spot for Jelly Bean. Flower didn't NOT like swimming, but she didn't love it. Jelly Bean, on the other hand, was SO excited. She loved the water so much, that the instructors let her jump off the diving board, with a life jacket on, when she was only 2 and a half. The kids were slowly moving through the swimming levels, doing a session or two every summer.
And then, when Super was 2 years old (so this would have Fall 2006), we started doing swimming lessons during the school year instead. Parks and Rec offers two sessions in the fall, and two sessions in the winter. Flower was in level 2.2, Jelly Bean was in 1.3, and Samuel was in Tot Spot. (The levels go 1.1, 1.2., and 1.3, 2.1, etc. until you get to level 4. Then it is level 4, level 5, through level 7.) It usually takes a student a few sessions until they get through level 7 because there are many endurance skills, such as treading water for 5 minutes, swimming for 500 yards, doing each stroke for 50 years, retrieving a 10 pound brick from the bottom, etc. When you complete level 7, you have completed or "graduated" from swimming lessons. As we went to swimming more often, the children really seemed to enjoy swimming more and more too.
Flower had started level 7 in Fall 2008, and did two sessions last fall, and two sessions last winter. She worked SO hard, but at the end of each session, there was one or two things that she hadn't passed. We started again this fall, and she was hopeful that she would pass level 7 during the first session of the fall. But when she got her card at the end of the session, she had not passed. She had really done her best. And I suspected that if she had had a different instructor, that she would have passed. I was so tempted to just tell her that she could stop. She had completed all the skills in one session or another. Did she really need to keep going??? But she said that she wanted to keep trying. So we started the 2nd session of fall. All of the children were having a good session (Jelly Bean was in Level 5, and Super was in 2.2), but I was so afraid that Flower still wouldn't pass.
The end of the 2nd fall session was November 18th. She came walking over with her card. I held my breath.
And then she couldn't walk anymore. She stopped.
And then she looked up at me.
Threw her arms up in the air.
And said "I passed!"
Seeing her face made me glad that she had decided to try one more time.
Seeing her face reminded me to always try one more time.
Embracing and Enjoying Each Season of Life
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