Swimming is supposed to lower your blood pressure.
As part of my efforts to lead a healthier lifestyle, I am trying to get the children involved in some type of activity. In the past we have tried Little League, but since Sunshine is not much of a baseball fan, Skywalker found the bugs flying next to him on the left field more interesting than the actual game. Needless to say, it was a bust. I tried to engage him on trying another sport. His friends are into football and Sunshine was a football player in Middle School and some of High School, but once Skywalker saw how they get hit, the sport lost its appeal. Some of his other friends and his cousins are really into soccer, but when Skywalker saw all that running, he decided that this sport was also out. Last year, in my desperation to find something to get him engaged, we started him on swimming… and he was good! Added plus: unless it is thundering outside, meets and classes are not cancelled!!! His teacher said that he has a lot of potential and he enjoyed it! Then, as he progressed through the classes, I found out that the swim team at the Y practices at 3:30 pm every day. I called the Y and inquired about it. Really? 3:30 in the afternoon? Who schedules practices at 3:30pm? My son’s school bus doesn’t even drop him off in front of our house until 4pm! And there is also the little issue of him having two working parents. His swimming future seemed to be evaporating… (don’t like that pun? How about: it was going down the drain? Ok, ok, I’ll stop). I asked the coach how kids who had working parents made it to practice. Her response: carpool. Awesome, I said, but how do you know who is willing to carpool. Her response? By coming to practice. After about 10 seconds of silence to see if she would catch the total lack of logic in her statement I hung up the phone disappointed. We had to take him out of swimming.
Finally, someone with someone with some brains realized this issue and changed the swimming practices to different hours of the day. There are some that still start at 3:30 but there is another one that starts at 5:30 pm and another one at 6 am. I am willing to get up for my kids to go to swimming practice just like my parents did for my brothers, so I re-enrolled him (and this time also Mini-me) in the classes. Bonus: Our new home will be located less than half a mile of the local Y... and Skywalker is going into the afterschool program there!
Today we had our second session. The boys love it. Today Mini-me actually got over his fear of dunking his head under the water and he is starting to get the freestyle stroke – and it's only his second lesson! Skywalker is loving the time in the water. I am glad for him. I want him not only to be able to exercise his mind, but also his social skills, be part of a team. So I was a little taken aback when I heard him asked another child in his class if he wanted to be friends and the boy looked at him and flat out said: No. They had met 3 minutes ago and this was his response. Skywalker caught my eye and I tried to smile, but I think he was too embarrassed by the fact that I had witnessed this rejection, so he looked away. Geez, who taught THAT kid manners??? I understand that Skywalker doesn't have to be friends with the entire world, but...
As I sat there on the pool deck, re-living my childhood (my brothers swam competitively but I didn’t so I sat by the pool MANY hours). I noticed several issues. First, there was a little girl (maybe 8years old) swimming around in the pool – never mind that there were 4 preschool swimming classes going on at the same time, this girl swam and dove, splashed in the preschoolers’ faces and interrupted the lessons by swimming into the instructors and kids, while her mother read a magazine. At one point, the lifeguard told her to please move to another section of the pool, but her mom told her not too because it was too deep. Now, I understand that this is the Y, but there are 23 preschoolers in the pool, taking classes, the lanes are reserved for this purpose and your daughter is being disruptive to the class I PAID for. Ok, so I took a deep breath and tried to enjoy watching Mini-me with his HUGE goggles “swim” around.
Once Mini-me finished, it was Skywalker’s turn. As the classes (now 5 classes with about 25 kids total) progressed, more and more people were getting in the pool – to just stand and swim. Parents were coming with their little babies to splash around, older kids were playing around, and then, they had the nerve to get upset if water got splashed on their precious 5 month old (who was not supposed to be there at that time in the first place) or upset if they got smacked by a flailing swimming student, or completely ignored them and made the kids stop in the middle of their swimming strokes, so they could leisurely swim right across their path… it got so bad, that one of the instructors had to ask the lifeguard to blow her whistle and yelled at all these people to stay by the walls of the pool or exit the water as there were 5 simultaneous lessons going on. Three teenagers were actually "asked" to leave the pool. Order lasted about 10 minutes as other people entered the pool and not having heard this announcement started to get in the way. It was exasperating to watch. One of the culprits even swam the length of the pool THROUGH the classes when there were 3 lanes open for lap swimming. And the 8 year old girl? She was joined by her father and little sister, who having been part of the preschoolers’ lessons was now done and did not need to follow any other rule.
I refuse to be a psychotic mother, but I kept my nine year old sitting next to me, on a bench, while the preschoolers were having their lessons, to respect the rules. I refuse to be “all high-and-mighty” but I can’t help to be bothered by the lack of respect and courtesy at the pool today.