Summer Fun

written by liz on Tuesday, August 05 2008

All this driving to and from swimming lessons and hanging out at the pool is a bit tiring. It seems ridiculous to say hanging out at the pool is tiring but it IS.  Spending three to four hours in the sun and water is exhausting. Having my guard up while keeping constant attention on two young boys in the water - more exhausting. Hanging on to Sam the super "swimmer" in the water? Super super exhausting.  Did I mention Sam, at 3 1/2, now likes to DIVE?

Yes, in his swimming lesson, (first week of swimming lessons, ever)  he has decided he wants to DIVE. One day, at the end of class, they asked the kids to hop out of the pool and jump back in. Well, Sam didn't just jump in like the rest of the kids in the class, he decided to DIVE. That's right, dive. The teacher calmly swam over and told him it was not safe to dive in water that is only 3 1/2 feet deep.  She took him over to the little tile on the pool deck, at the side of the pool --that has a picture of a person diving with a line through it. I couldn't hear the conversation from where I was sitting, but it is clear she is told him that diving in shallow water is a no no. As class was ending, I noticed his teacher asking him if he wanted to dive into the deep end. He said yes, so they had him get out and walk to the deep end of the pool. Two instructors swam over to meet him. Next thing I know, Sam is diving, not jumping, but diving in.


A couple days later, Michael and I take the kids to the pool, not for a lesson, but just to hang out and swim.  Turns out, after asking Alex a few times if he wants to jump off the diving board, he said yes. Michael was going too, so that was what gave Alex the extra push to go.  Sam, needed no convincing. He wanted to go. I said no no no no.  Michael said yes, yes yes, let him try it. I gave in.

It was a sight. Seven or eight kids, and a few adult men were lined up to take their turns. Sam, at least two heads shorter than anyone in the line, kept moving forward. When if came time for his turn, he climbed the four steps up and carefully walked the plank - I mean diving board. A man who had been watching Sam swim earlier shouted, "Go Sam!"  I shooshed him telling him Sam had never been on the diving board before.  Hell, Sam can barely swim. No pressure needed.

None of this stopped Sam.  There he went, this little tiny kid walking out on the diving board. It was such a sight! He was smaller than any kid there. He walked to the end. I was trying to decipher his expression; it seemed to be a mixture of interest, caution and even a little fear.  Or was that me? I ask you, because at that moment, watching him walk toward the end of the board, I was wondering if it is it possible to DIE of fear. I could just barely stand watching. I had to turn away but still look. Pure agony. Michael positioned himself in the pool, at the wall, ready to go get him if he needed help.

Then, he did it. He jumped. He flew through the air and splashed down. He was fine. He got to the side, and of course hopped out and ran to do it again. The second time, he walked out and started to jump, but then stopped himself mid bounce, then kind of teetered on the edge and then did a sort of dive with his neck craned in the opposite direction a neck should bend when diving.  His body, was parallel to the water. I covered my mouth with my hand. Then, Sam sorta belly flopped. That was enough. I told him it was enough and that he needed to get out. I asked him how he felt and he said he hurt himself a little. Not on his belly but his hand. He was not too upset or crying, just said it hurt, "a tiny bit." I am hesitant to say it, but I am half-glad he got hurt a tiny bit. I think a little dose of fear in Sam's case, is a good thing.

It probably goes without saying, but I don't have any desire to go back to that pool when the diving board is open again. Alex wants to, he loved the diving board. He brings it up two or three times a day.  It was his first time jumping off it too. That was not so hard to watch. At 6 it seemed OK. He does not seem so little. That, and he did ... a cannonball. Sam had to DIVE.

It speaks volumes.


 Sam ready for action

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