Family Swimming Fears

Fear of the WaterI’m not a strong swimmer. I took lessons when I was younger, but they never really took. For some reason I just don’t have the coordination to keep my arms and legs moving in such a way as to keep me afloat for long periods of time. 

I usually start to sink after less than a minute of treading water during which time I frantically move water back and forth in churning chaos. I watch with wonder those who can tread and chat as effortlessly as if they were merely standing.

Because of this, I was determined my children would be strong swimmers. After all, who else was going to save me in the event of a ship wreck? As soon as they were old enough, I signed them up.

One would think that after six years of swimming lessons, Joseph would be doing laps. And after two years of lessons, Elizabeth would be happily holding her breath and having tea parties on the bottom of the pool. You would think wrong.

Both children still cling to the side of the pool in a death grip. When their fingers are forcibly pried from the edge, they clutch their instructors. Both children are no closer to being little fish.

And I’m at my wit’s end.

It’s worrisome as invite after invite comes in for pool birthday parties and swimming playdates. The little guys and girls inviting Joseph are totally comfortable in the water, jumping off the sides and sliding down waterslides. Joseph sits on the steps and laughs at their antics, but doesn’t join in. I worry when I’m not there that the other moms won’t realize that he really can’t hold his breath yet.

So I’m on the hunt for lessons for all three of us, for some way to get us all in the water and learn to let go. Any ideas?