Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Water Safety *Finally* Addressed...

I'm about to face one of my biggest fears/concerns for Samantha.  Something that's been terrifying me for many years now, something I feel she is dangerously limited without.  Hell, something she's just *in danger* without.  I finally bit the bullet and arranged for private swim lessons at our local community rec center.  Samantha loves the water, absolutely adores it, but has absolutely no sense of how dangerous it can be without knowing how to swim.  She likes the idea of swimming, but honestly has absolutely no clue how to be safe in the water, or, for that matter, even how to hold her breath in the water.  If she gets water in her face, or, more likely, if her face gets in the water, she inhales/swallows/chokes/sputters/cries, and it just drives home for me how critical it is for her to learn to be safe.  I can't always be holding her at the pool until she's big enough to stand up on her own in there.  Not to mention, what if she were to trip?  She wouldn't know what to do, and would just panic. 

I sometimes dream of owning one of the big townhouses lining the pond a few blocks over, but the first thing that pops into my mind (besides the slightly important fact that we can't afford one...) is that Samantha wouldn't be safe.  I haven't yet arranged the start date, but we'll be doing it on Sunday afternoons, which is just perfect for us.  I really want her to have some sort of foundation before the summer this year.  I'm sure I'll be updating her progress here as we go.

I can't help being jealous of all the kids with Down syndrome who are just so natural in the water, who seem to be part fish, taking to holding their breaths (how does one teach this concept??) and staying afloat with no hesitation.  Not comparing, just jealous.  :-)  I hope that with the right instruction, Samantha can pick it up easily.  I know she's proud of her accomplishments, but at what point will fear overcome the promise of that pride?  Only time and multiple lessons will tell...

9 comments:

Chromosomally Enhanced said...

This is great...greats or you and her...I am very lurkie an
Out the water with my kiddos,,,I a, a strong swimmer and my husband is not...I thought swimming just came naturally to people but I realized it does not! He struggles and still does...so very young we started both our kiddos in lessons...Max has struggle and just sinks but has the fear...Maddie it comes somewhat natural to her but she has no fear and I think that scares me most..lithe no fear thing is not something you can teach...now it is time to buy a CUTE swimsuit n goggles! N cap for her long gorgeous hair! Smiles

Stephanie said...

Yay for swim lessons! I know that scary feeling though but I think lessons are a great way to combat it. You'll be surprised how quickly she catches on to everything in the water. I can't wait to hear more about it!

Lisa said...

That is awesome! As a former swim teacher my biggest piece of advice to parents is to not show you fear when they go under or get water in their face. It will take time, instrucution, and lots of positive reinforcement - she can definetly do this. The teacher will make all the difference - change teachers if this one doesn't click with her or doesn't push her out of her comfort zone a little.

Rochelle said...

YAY for swim lessons! Hope you get the right instructor for her and she does well.

Cindy said...

I think if she loves the water, she'll learn to swim faster than you think! Looking forward to the updates.

Kacey Bode said...

Ella knows how to swim without any help, and LOVES to stick her head in the water...BUT she is NOT safe near water. She has absolutely no fear of it and will take off from me whether she can reach or not, she simply does not understand that she can drown. Just thought I would share that, lol.

Kristi said...

Avery is doing swim lessons this month..i finally signed her up too..she loves water and for the lifr of me i just cant teach her how to swim with out arm bands..i tried all summer..i think my fb status went something like this yesterday...i think i know now why i cant teach Avery to swim...the instructor just pushed her head right under and she was ok with that/ she didnt panic or freak out.I guess im not that mean..lol..Good luck with the swimming lessons..its something that we wont ever regret teaching them.

Jenny said...

She might just take her time getting use to the water, but I bet after a while she really takes to swimming and ends up really enjoying it :)

Laura said...

Hope she has a great time! We live in a rural area with many large bodies of water so we started young. We did go through a scary stage where dd was able to swim a few feet & then decided she was invincable but thankfully she now still lives the water but has a healthy respect for her boundaries. You can start out with just simple things like blowing bubbles in the bathtub & take baby steps forward from there. We live in a cooler part of Canada so we did lots of bathtub swim practice:)

Laura
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