When swimming lessons changed for our family

I folded the towel to make a pillow for my head, leaned back in the Adirondack chair, lowered my sunglasses and let my eyes close slowly. The warm air and the lulling sound of the water were making me sleepy.

No, I wasn’t on a beach or relaxing poolside at a hotel. I was fully-clothed at the rec centre, watching my kids’ swimming lesson, but it felt like I was at a spa.

You see, our family has had a rough history with swimming. 

My husband and I are “passable” swimmers but don’t really enjoy it, so it’s not something we’ve been very good about ingraining in our kids.

Our son failed Sea Otter what felt like a million times (three) and only passed when his little sister was old enough to join him in the level. I’d been beginning to wonder if he’d be 17 years old and still blowing bubbles for his instructor in the shallow end.

While they always enjoyed swimming lessons, they weren’t willing to do everything the instructor asked. They struggled with nervousness and both disliked getting water in their eyes, ears and noses — but I couldn’t really blame them because I’m still like that at 33.

When I’d take them to the public pool, even as recently as last summer, they’d alternate between paddling around confidently in their floaties and clinging to me for dear life. Literally all of their friends were much better swimmers.

Oh, and then there was the evening our daughter’s floaty sprung a leak and she slipped under while I dashed through the shallow end to snatch her back up. I’d read a terrifying Facebook article on ‘dry drowning’ earlier that week, so I spent a worried, sleepless night making sure she was still breathing.

This summer, however, things have been different …

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