You know how my kids have been doing swimming lessons these past two weeks? (Oh, yeah. My kids have been doing swimming lessons these past two weeks.)
Well it’s over with. Today was the last day. And here’s my take:
Mia became a total beast at the backstroke. She still dives like a rock–like a big, awkward rock–but considering that last month she could barely dog-paddle, I’m convinced that it was $40 and 2 weeks well spent.
And Merrick–still can’t really swim. Still hates to put his head under the water. Kicks and splashes like a lead duck having a seizure. Merrick, so athletic and confident on dry land, but in the water…not so much. Everyday for 2 weeks, he got some quality one-on-one time with the oldest man to ever rock a one-piece bathing suit. This man–this elderly, elderly, sweet volunteer– would take my scared-to-death son out into the pool. He quietly reassured Merrick and cradled his head full of wild blond hair while he floated on his back. He encouraged my son, he carried my son, he was incredibly kind and impossibly patient; by the end of the two-week session, he had earned Merrick’s trust, and the two of them made quite the pair out there in the water.
I had to fight back tears today as I watched them, gently swaying together in the shallow end for the last time. Merrick has come a long way over the course of the lessons: he can kind of float on his back.
But also? He had the opportunity to get to know and love this wonderful old gentleman. He may not have had the energy and muscles of someone 50 years younger, and he may not have carried an official coach whistle–but Merrick learned to respect and adore him just the same. Their relationship was the most precious thing–it was $40 and 2 weeks extremely well spent.
I am just so thankful today for old people who are active in communities and who work with children. I’m thankful for all of their experience and wisdom and patience, and for the example they set for those of us running and gunning in our 20’s and 30’s. Though Merrick and Mia won’t be entering any swimming competitions anytime soon, our family was so totally blessed these past couple weeks.