Austin is our second son. He is about to turn five in about 2 weeks and over the course of his life he has been the more timid as well as introverted one of all the kids. He is the sweetest boy! Obeys immediately (most of the time), has the heart to please and has such a compassionate and empathetic heart. I have wanted to dedicate a post to him for a while now and finally have found the best opportunity!
He has been in swimming lessons now for one year. We participate in the Home School Swim Lessons at Mt. Hood Community College here in Gresham, Oregon (for those who are interested in next years lessons). We have been so fortunate and blessed to find a teacher who loves Austin as well as understands his basic need for trust. It took Austin a good 3-4 months to warm up in the water and to his teacher. She was so patient and encouraging to him. Then instead of passing him up to the next level, which also meant him graduating to the deeper Olympic sized pool as well as getting a new teacher, she requested to teach his same class even though that meant changing which class she taught. She just loved all the kids in the class and wanted to stay with them and watch them continue to grow in their abilities to swim. I am so thankful because I am almost certain he would have regressed with a “new” teacher. It takes Austin time to trust someone. They almost have to earn his trust through time.
As I think back to last April when we started these lessons and reflect… he has grown so much. I am so proud of him. Yes, there were days when he didn’t want to go… but I knew that it was more than learning how to swim… it was one aspect of developing his character. When you start something… you finish! Plus swimming is after all a life skill I personally feel everyone should learn for safety reasons (although it obviously has its added benefits of pleasure throughout life). As you can tell by the pictures… Austin has broken out of his shell… mainly because he loves and trusts Erin his teacher. He is so proud of himself, confident and cute as a bug! If I don’t say so myself.
Just last year he wouldn’t put his head in the water or even go into the pool deeper than his waste. Now he is bobbing the entire class, jumping into the deep end, floating by himself on his front and back, as well as doing”ice cream scoops” for 10 feet unattended. He loves it! He conquered his fear… at age four how empowering can this be for all other challenges in life. I am excited to remind him over and over again how he stuck to something he was fearful of and couldn’t do. Not only did he stick to it, but he succeeded as well. I am sad that I can not continue right now… but mommy needs a break. I am due to have the baby in about 6-7 weeks and feeling the need to calm down the schedule. The good thing is we are ending on a fabulous note. The kids all love swimming and are pumped up to start again as soon as possible.