More than three years ago, I blogged about (then) Little I.'s near drowning experience during a swimming lesson. The experience left him with an enduring fear of water over his head, and a reluctance to be in the swimming pool. He was so reluctant that I pulled him out of lessons several months afterwards; he was not passing the first level after months and months, and he had asked for "a break."
However, last summer all of the older children asked to start swimming lessons again, so I enrolled them. I. and A. were in the same class in September; in January, A. moved up to Swim Kids 2, while I. repeated Swim Kids 1.
I took the boys to their last lesson of this set tonight. I.'s lesson is first, then A.'s. so I decided to bring the baby and swim with whichever boy was not in a lesson while the other practised.
I. had his lesson first, then received his swimming report card. He walked up to me, beaming, clutching the swimming badge in his wet fist. He had passed, with only two tries!
He hopped into the pool with me and Baby E. and we started to play in the water. As I watched him swim, splashing and kicking, confidently swimming underwater, I could feel my eyes pricking and my throat clenching. He was having fun, fearless fun, in the very pool where I nearly lost him. This was wonderful!
Fear is a terrible emotion to harbour; it's like a stone in your stomach, or like fluid in the lungs. It pulls you down, steals your air. And now Big. I. is free of it, free and floating. I've never been more proud of him.