Monday, 21 June 2010


A little while ago, we changed Cara's swimming lesson. She used to go on a Saturday and myself or H would have to get in with her. With the introduction of trampolining before swimming on a Saturday, it was all becoming too much and she would just mess around and not really do too much. So...when I joined the gym...I signed her up for the swimming lessons there. On a Monday and in the pool by herself. She loves it!

There are only 4 children in the group - Cara and 3 other little girls. I'm the only mum that sits and watches; one goes in the pool with her other (younger) daughter and two go and have a coffee/sit and chat with friends.

Today, there were only three of them as one (the one whose mum goes in the pool wth her sister during the lesson) was on holiday so they all went into the big pool. In the toddler pool, they can stand up, so don't really try, but in the big pool, they can't, so they have to work harder so to speak. Hazel, the swimming instructor is fantastic and does a great job. She got in and had Cara and one of the other little girls. The third one was a little bit late coming out, so had only just sat down on the side. Her mum had gone back out and this poor little girl just sat and looked at me. "Okay?" I asked her. She kind of half nodded at me and then her bottom lip started to wobble. "I don't like the big pool" she told me. My heart just went out to her and I will admit to being a little upset that her mum kind of sees her swimming lesson as a time to sit and socialise rather than watch and encourage her daughter. I know I shouldn't judge and I don't know the full ins and outs - for all I know this may be her mums only free time - but this little girl was clearly so scared and worried. "You'll be okay" I said to her in as reassuring way as possible.

Before she could get too upset, it was her turn. She went in the water and after a bit of a wobbly start, oh my goodness - she just went. She had a shark fin on, but she was going so fast and was so confident - it was like a different child.

When she got back to the edge, I clapped her and told her well done. She looked so pleased and happy - I just wished it had come from her mum and not from me though - a total stranger.

At the end of the lesson, her mum came and got her and dropped her brother off for his lesson which follows her one. She took her through to the changing room and as I walked past with Cara, I heard her ask the little girl if she had been in the big pool for the whole lesson. I admit - I butted in. I said what a fantastic job the little girl had done and how brilliant she had been. The mum seemed genuinely happy - imagine how happy and proud she would have been had she seen that for herself and not heard about it from a random stranger.

Children grow up so quickly and things like this to them are important. I would hate to miss one of Cara's lessons. For example, while in the big pool today, the instructor was getting her to practice getting her arm up out of the water on each stroke, so she said to Cara, "wave at mummy." Instead, she pulled her arm out of the water and gave me the biggest thumbs up possible. She may not be the world's most natural swimmer, but she loves her lessons, and to me, that's priceless. I wouldn't miss that for the world.

1 comment:

  1. I couldn't agree with you more. I think it's easy to put our children in situations and assume they'll be fine and underestimate the benefit of our presence and encouragement. Tom started playing Rugby last year so i dropped him off and picked him up and thought nothing of it. Then he asked if i would come and watch him play. He's 16yrs old so i hadn't considered that he'd want his Mum to watch but i went along and he was great.

    X X