Friday, August 10, 2012

From Tadpoles to Sharks

Disclaimer: Sorry in advance for this braggy post. Trust me: I am not perfect, my kids are not perfect and our life is not perfect but right now, I just want to to be a proud mama and not feel guilty for sharing it.

The kids just finished the last session of swim lessons for the summer. Oh, how I wish they had a year round swim program in our area but they don't. This year the kids did three out of four 2 week sessions because they were both enjoying it so much and making so much progress.

I have had the kids do swim lessons since they were a year old because I never really learned how to swim properly myself. I like the water and I am not going to drown, but I never learned the proper techniques for diving and different strokes. Being that we go to the river quite often, love the beach and spend so much time in the pool during our 100+ degree summers, I wanted the kids to be confident in the water.

Over the summers, the kids have moved through the age grouped swim classes - Tadpoles (mommy and me) and Guppies (preschool ages 3-5) to the skill based groups starting with Stingrays. After three sessions as a Dolphin, Jake moved onto Sharks for this last session, the highest skill based group available until you are old enough for guard training. The biggest highlight was watching him learn and perfect his diving:

But the real surprise was Jadyn. She realizes she is 2 years younger than her brother but that doesn't stop her from constantly trying to catch up to him. After starting this summer as a Stingray, she passed into Dolphins. She was immediately a natural at the dolphin kick (beginning form for the butterfly stroke) and passed all skills on her first try with the exception of diving (and she needed to improve her rhythmic breathing). Not to be deterred, I watched (and tried to help as best I could) as Jadyn practiced and practiced her form at lessons and at home. I watched her endure countless belly flops and face plants but she did not give up.

And all that hard work paid off with this dive on testing day (not perfect form obviously but it was still decent):

So now Jadyn, at the ripe old age of 6, has made it into Sharks for next summer. I am so proud of both of them. They worked hard and they had fun. You couldn't ask for anything more. Here they are with their instructors on the last day of class:

This summer will forever go down in history as the summer they BOTH learned how to ride their bikes without training wheels and they BOTH learned how to dive. It truly has been a very epic summer.

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