A week ago, we had just gotten back from a weekend at Todd's parents. They have a pool and Michael wouldn't go into it without holding on for dear life to someone. This afternoon Michael, Katie and I went to our neighborhood pool. Michael was so excited to go under the water and swim to me.
This past week, he took swimming lessons at our neighborhood pool. The first 2 days were pretty rough. When we got to the pool after much explanation about the lessons, he didn't want to go near the pool. Michael finally went into the pool after about 10 minutes. I took Katie and went to the other end of the pool. I thought he might do better if he didn't think he could keep coming out to me. He stayed in the pool for about 30 minutes the first day and actually went under the water, even though he did not like it at all.
The second day may have possibly been worse than the first day because now he knew what to expect. He didn't want to go back at all. More of the same started the lesson. He finally got in the pool and did a bit of swimming. He stayed in the pool for a while but got out in the middle because he didn't want to "dive" (go under the water).
Wednesday was the day that he finally decided he was going to swim. I am not sure what really changed but we got to the pool and he got right in. He still wasn't crazy about going under the water but he did it. He also swam from the railing to his teacher. It was less than 5 feet but it was progress. I was so proud of him!
The last day of lessons was Friday. He was so ready to get to the lesson and wanted to go as soon as he woke up and was dressed. I managed to keep him at home until it was time to leave. Once we got to the pool, he went in and it took him a little time to warm up. There was about 5 minutes in the middle of the lesson where he sat on the edge of the pool. By the end of the lesson, he was swimming to the teacher and back to the steps. He even jumped into the pool 2 or 3 times, with my help.
I cannot believe the progress that he made in one short week. I was amazed that he would put his head under water and let go of his death grip on the teacher. We will continue to go to the pool through the summer and work on getting him more comfortable in the water. Today we went and all he wanted to do was practice swimming the whole time. When we took a break on the stairs, he wanted to show me a trick. It was going under the water without holding on.
If you would have told me a week ago that Michael would have been letting go of me in the water, I would have thought you were talking about a different boy. He even told me swimming was fun. I told him that's what I thought all along!
Here he is swimming: