Breckin doesn't like new things. He gets nervous and doesn't want to try and doesn't like it when he's not good at something. I've learned over the years how to approach Breckin to get him to do new stuff. We used to tell him about it weeks in advnace in hopes of preparing him for a new activity like soccer or Tball. He'd build up anxiety the whole time and freak out in the car on the way. Not good. Then, we'd try just going to something and he'd figure out that it's a new thing and freak out in front of everyone. Also not good. We'd do a combination of those and warn him a few days in advance then not really bring it up again til it was time and he'd panic in the car all the way and freak out while trying to participate. Not good.
Needless to say, I was a little nervous about how swim lessons would go. He's been in pools but always with an inner tube or one of us holding him or in such shallow water that he could touch and walk easily. He likes that kind of swimming. We've mentioned swim lessons before and he was adamant that he did not need them and he was not interested in doing them. Ever.
So, I signed him up about a month ago for our local high school pool's swim classes cause Mommy and Daddy really want to go to Great Wolf Lodge and ride the water slides and dang it, he's going to like it, too. I didn't tell him about it. In fact, I didn't mention anything about it until Saturday when I casually said "Hey, Breck. I think there's a pool close by. Should we go swimming on Monday after school?" "You bet!" he says. And that was it.
Until the car ride. On the way I said "Oh, buddy. Sometimes at these pools they have a special swim time where the mommies don't get in and you get in with a teacher or something and play some games." He didn't buy it. "I do not want to go during those times." I said "well, let's just see what the scoop is and we'll do whatever the rules at the pool are." I lightened the mood by suggesting weird things like some of the characters from his tv shows might be there or wouldn't it be weird if his pool teacher was his school teacher or what if he saw kids from his class there. He liked those ideas and dropped it for a few minutes. His tone was getting a little frantic each time he spoke, though, and said he did not want to swim like that- he just wanted to play in a floatie. I said he sounded nervous and it was ok to be nervous because maybe there are other kids there who are nervous, too, and needed a boy to be brave and show them how to have fun in a pool.
Then, blink. He was a different kid. The showers in the locker room were hilarious. The pool water was the best thing he'd smelled. He couldn't wait to get in the water and when his teacher called his name, he marched right down the kids' stairs and followed along like a pro. I have no idea what happened but he played simon says, dipped his face in the water, practiced holding on to the edge and pushing off with his feet, tried to float on his back, and made great alligator arms. I was blown away. For the last thirty days, I've been sweating swim lessons and thinking of things to say when he's breaking down on the side of the pool and fighting me to get outta there. He was laughing and didn't mind getting splashed and jumped off the side into the water when it was his turn. He said it was the most fun thing he'd done in forever and can not wait til Wednesday. We still can't call it swim lessons cause he does not want to take swim lessons. But, "swim time" is just fine with him. And, Mommy can't wait til it's Great Wolf Lodge time.
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