After five years of swimming lessons, my 7-year-old twins barely have the basics down. This year, they were adamant about not taking lessons. I almost acquiesced, but my own love of the water and my fear of them drowning kept me from caving. It took several meandering Q&A sessions before I got to the root of the problem: They don't care for group lessons. And I can't say I blame them.
I decided to bite the financial bullet and started searching for private lessons. Except by the time I jumped in, everyone else had been in the water for awhile. All the local facilities were booked. Mamma as instructor was NOT an option.
I'm an infrequent craigslist user, but on a whim I did a search for swim instructors. I found two within 10 minutes of our house. I reached out to both and ultimately picked one. The gal was willing to wrangle my kids for one hour each week for $20 total. Yes, I had low expectations. After all, you get what you pay for. As the girls and I left for our first visit, I gave my husband the address with explicit instructions to call the police if we didn't return by a specified time.
As it turns out, the girls love the instructor, and with her encouragement they have both taken risks and learned new skills. Are they learning to swim? Not the way I had envisioned, but they have gained confidence and some survival skills. For $20/week, I'll take it.
The experience has definitely dropped me into the deep end of my comfort zone. Our instructor is super nice, good with the girls, knowledgeable and enthusiastic. But I've had to go with the flow several times and remind myself to keep an open mind. She's a Millennial; I'm a Gen Xer. In many aspects, we are at opposite ends of the pool. She's clad in tattoos, and I'm not. She collects skulls, and I do not. She runs with the Festival crowd (as in Renaissance), and I have no idea what that means. She's ok when her phone dies; I start twitching. She's loosey goosey when it comes to scheduling lessons and returning messages. Me? Hahahahaha. No one will ever describe me as loosey goosey.
Overall, it's been a good experience for all of us. I've enjoyed getting to know her, and I think we'll all be a little sad when the pool season comes to an end.
Wherever you are, whatever you're doing ... Keep It Real.