Over the course of the last couple of months, Sam has been taking swimming lessons. If was a "birthday gift" to him from us but really we wanted to make sure we did some sort of lesson because last year he would scream when we brought him to the pool.
It was a good investment. Ryan and I both learnt how to help Sam to learn to swim with fun activities and Sam is no longer scared of the water, which I'm not too sure is ALWAYS such a good thing.
You see, last Sunday we hosted the Sunday School picnic at our house. We love to be able to host our church family for a service in the cooled garage and then fun in the pool for the Sunday School kids! In years passed, Sam wasn't always mobile so it was a breeze to keep him away from the pool. And last year, he hated water. This year, he now LOVES the water because of swimming lessons.
After the service, the kids run out to the pool to get swimming in before lunch is ready and Ryan and I start the process of setting out some food and getting the hot dogs BBQing. Sam was good and kept asking us to go in the pool because we had engraved his in mind he only goes in with Mom and Dad! We kept telling him to wait because we were doing A,B or C.
As he stood at the side lines watching all the other kids jump in and out of the pool, you could see him testing his boundaries. Eventually sitting on the pool steps with Ryan's permission.
I was just walking back into the pool area when I saw the tail end of Sam jumping off of the steps and into the pool itself without any floaties on.
THANKFULLY, there were many other bodies around ready to pounce in to get him but Mommy-mode had kicked in and I sprinted passed people and leaped into the pool to grab him.
He wasn't submerged for very long! Literally seconds and thankfully with swimming lessons he knows now how to hold his breath. So when I lifted him up from to the surface he had a smile on his face and just thought Mommy was coming in to swim with him.
Of course, my heart was racing like crazy from fear but I tried to keep the panic to the minimum and stay calm. I reminded him about only going swimming if Mommy or Daddy were with him. I put on his floaties and we went back in the water.
I actually didn't want to give Sam too much trouble. He was being as patient as you can expect a 3 year old to be. It was Ryan and I who were putting him off of swimming (when EVERY other kid was in the pool) because of our hosting duties. Sam doesn't understand that he actually can't swim yet without floaties and so jumped in with the other kids.
We are so glad there were so many watchful people around that day and we know he would have been fine but it was an eye opener for us as far as pool safety goes. We have a lock on the pool gate door but have been spoiled for the last 3 years by a child who never even showed interest. Now (especially after Sunday) we are so careful about keeping that gate locked at all times. Even when we are all outside together. Because you can turn your back for 2 minutes and something can happen so fast.
We are glad Sam isn't scared of the water anymore and we hope we have some fun pool-filled days in the years to come. We attribute Sam holding is breath last Sunday to the lessons he has been taking and even for that we are thankful. While I am NOT happy with Sam falling in the pool, I am thankful for the realization (aka: wake up call) it gave Ryan and I about pool safety and for it happening when there were MANY watchful eyes there to help if needed.