Hope is becoming a little fish. She loves the pool more this year than any other summer. But when it comes to swim lessons she is timid. Nervous. Scared. Which is why, being the first lesson since she was 18 months (don't judge), I signed her up for the Parent and Child class. It is also why, at four and half years old, she was easily two years older than the next kid.
She was not at all bothered to be in a class with babies. But it was obvious her comfort with the water and skill level was beyond the class. She kicks, paddles, floats (assisted), and blows bubbles with ease. I didn't need to be with her at all. But when I tried to talk to her about moving up to the next class, the class where she would swim without me, she became sullen and upset.
We talked about it a lot. We tried to figure out her hesitation and fear. And with a lot of conversation, some encouragement from the teachers, and yes, some tears, Hope participated in the preschool level swim class today. On her second day of swim lessons.
I even saw her smiling.
I know how hard new situations are for her. I know how hard trying this class was for her. And she did it. And I am so proud.
Afterwards she ran up and gave me the biggest (and best) wet hug. Wrapped in her towel she curled up into my lap, and we rested on the lounge chair. She had fun, as much fun as the day before when I was with her, she told me. But even so, it was apparent that this new and big experience left her drained and needing a little mommy snuggling before moving on to the next part of the day.
She assured me that she had enough fun that she wants to do it again next time. And my heart feels full. She is growing up. We are growing. And it makes me happy and sad and everything all at once.