It was time.  Ella turned three and swimming lessons were lingering in the back of our minds.  Ella has always loved the water, mainly playing by the steps, kicking, splashing and making her Barbie’s swim, etc.  Over the summer while we were at the beach I forced her down a water slide probably one too many times (mainly because I was having so much fun)… but that’s the extent of us forcing Ella to do anything she’s been very uncomfortable with.  So we signed her up for swim lessons, got thrown on a waiting list and finally heard back.  Her lessons started November 12th and I must come clean and say I was incredibly anxious at the thought of my slow- to-warm child going into a new situation completely on her own.  I gave the swim school a heads up that she would probably scream her face off but they said they were prepared for that.  Whew!

So, after talking it up with Ella for over a week we finally arrive at the swim school.  It was a huge gymnasium type of room where there’s a glass wall surrounding the pool so you can see your child acting like Ariel from The Little Mermaid.  I definitely thought we’d have to go home because if she saw us, she’d freak out and not follow the teachers instructions.  So, Jeff took Ella into the swimming area and tried to get Ella comfortable with her swim teacher, Maddie.   The oddest thing happened, though. Ella got right into the pool and never looked back!  I watched as Jeff stood there waiting for Ella to cry out to him to rescue her.  I finally had to signal Jeff to come back and sit with me.   I watched in awe as Ella immediately took to her teacher and started playing in the water.  Everything Maddie asked her to do Ella did without hesitation.  Dunk her head under water.  Sure!  Swim using water weights.  Why not?!  Wear a bucket on her head.  Abso-freaking-lutely!

The week after her first class, all Ella did was speak of her swim lessons and Maddie.  So this last Saturday, which was her second class, Ella walked into class, got right in the water and Maddie would push her thru the water, completely submerged!  Ella would lift her face out of the water beaming with pride that she’d done it.  She’d look at us and we’d clap and give thumbs up.

Needless to say, thus far swimming lessons have been a tremendous success and we only anticipate them getting better.  Jeff has already begun dreaming of waking up with Ella and going to swim practice at 5 am before school each day.  I think we have a few years before we need to worry about that, though…

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