As a kid going swimming meant hopping in the car, driving to the local indoor swim center in my British hometown with my dad and sister. My mother usually stayed home on those Sundays to cook the Sunday roast beef and Yorkshire pudding dinner. After we arrived at the indoor swim center, we purchased wrist bands for a 2-hour swim and happily played in the indoor pool. I only swam in an outdoor pool once on a class trip to an amusement park. The water was COLD!! British summers are often very cold. Even swimming at the beach or seaside in England is not for the faint of heart.
Although I took swim lessons at the Y, I am not a strong swimmer. I can swim laps, but my breathing technique is not polished. I wanted more for my children. I wanted them to feel comfortable in the water. I also wanted to know that they were safe.
When my oldest child was 4, I enrolled her in swim lessons at a local health club. She took to the water like a…well uh…a fish. For a few summers, my oldest child practiced her swimming skills in the grandparents’ pool, at hotel pools, and a local swim centers. When my oldest was 7, a spot opened up at a local swim club. Though my husband was hesitant about purchasing a pool membership, I cannonballed in to the pool! I work from home and my husband was then a teacher, so we are home a lot in the summer. I couldn’t wait to have somewhere to go each day of the summer. Having a pool membership meant that I didn’t have to scramble to schedule play dates, a ton of summer camps, or park play dates. I also didn’t need to scramble around looking for swim lessons as the pool lifeguards were only too willing to give my youngest two children swim lessons.
My three kids have become strong swimmers through swim lessons, laps in the pool, and swim team. All three were swimming independently by 4 or 5 years of age. These days my oldest child is no longer on the summer swim team, but the younger two kids are still swim on the summer team at our swim club. My middle daughter swims year round and for her school’s swim team. My youngest just joined the year-round swim team. Almost ten years later, I am a veteran swim mom happy to hang out on the pool deck watching my kids swim.
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