We live around the corner from an indoor pool that offers swimming classes for infants beginning at six months, called Étoile de Mer or Star of the Sea. For Christmas, we signed Sonya up for Daddy/daughter classes and bought her an adorable pink leopard print swimsuit with a bow in the front, and to wear underneath it, a cloth swimming diaper with Little Nemo fish printed all over it.
Drex is a great swimmer and he taught me how to swim when we were in college. Now, although I’m not exactly a dolphin, I have confidence, rather than paralyzing fear, when entering a pool. If I had to, I could make it from one end to the other. My struggle to learn swimming as an adult made me determined that, no matter what, Sonya should never know a time when she was unable to swim. I want the water to seem, like it does for Drex, a natural environment for her to be.
Zen moment: [Taken from a quote I read somewhere] Swimming: From the outside looking in, you can’t understand it. From the inside looking out, you can’t explain it.
During her first class, Sonya was very brave (braver than I was during my first swimming lesson, where I clutched desperately to the edge of the pool, afraid I’d drown, even though my feet touched the bottom in the shallow end). Drex talked to our beautiful girl in a soothing voice, held her close to his chest. She dipped her legs in the water, played with a floatie fish, got sprayed on the legs with a watering can, and although she got scared of the loud pool sounds and getting splashed by other Étoiles, she gave the experience a chance. She endured the whole half-hour lesson. Well, at least she held it together until it was time to go into the dressing room echo-chamber.
That’s when, as Drex and I like to say, the wheels came off. We say that because the Sonya Good Humor Wagon becomes off-kilter. She flaps her arms and screams like the end of the world might be imminent.
Somehow, Drex switched the frantic, wriggling Sonya out of her swimsuit in the men’s dressing room and handed our little Star back to me. I nursed her for comfort. That’s right. Six months and still breastfeeding. Woohoo! I’m going to try to make it to Sonya’s first birthday.