Swimming Lessons or No Swimming Lessons?

I decided to discuss swimming lessons for the grandkids over dinner with SwampMan and Dylan. Everybody is more amenable to suggestion when their stomachs are full, and this would be a hard sell.

“So, I’m thinking about getting swimming lessons for Dylan” I began. SwampMan grunted “NOT a good idea. They’re expensive. They’re time consuming. They’ll be completely wasted without immediate follow up and follow through.”

“Well, he’s already late for beginning swimming lessons” I continued. “He should have started long ago. At this point, he’ll have to be in a beginning class with three to five year olds.”

“When I went for swimming lessons, I was 12 years old!” said SwampMan. I had to be in a class of little kids like that. But the water scared the crap out of me, and I quit after one lesson.”

“I think I’m going to pass on swimming lessons!” chimed in Dylan while gnawing his MAN’S DINNER, which was a couple of ribs. “It would scare the crap out of me just like it scared the crap out of Papa!”

“Why Dylan?” asked SwampMan. “Why not the other grandkids?”

“Because Dylan is so impetuous!” I answered. “Besides, Jacob would probably be too embarrassed and cool to get into the water for lessons with little children, and you know how difficult it is to try to persuade him to try something new. Zoe can take lessons next summer when she’s four as long as I buy her a pretty pink bathing suit first. If Dylan goes first, maybe Jacob will decide that he wants to go too. Arizona has been swimming for awhile now.”

“What does ‘impetuous’ mean?” demanded Dylan. “You said I was impetuous, and I do not know what that means!”

“It means somebody that does things without thinking about the consequences!” I said.

“I’m not impetuous!” said Dylan. “Did you know that I drownded before?”

“What did he just say?” asked SwampMan.

“He said he drowned before. How did you drown, Dylan?”

“I fell into a pool at my day care, and nobody saw me. I went completely under water!” he said proudly. “Besides, I don’t want to have to wear stupid swimmees in a pool like a baby.”

I looked at SwampMan.

“Hmmm. I see your point. Well, what do the swimming lessons consist of?”

“Well, week one would teach him basic water safety, opening his eyes underwater, and floating with assistance. He has to pass all objectives to move on to week two, in which he would be floating and bobbing unassisted, swimming under water, etc. He wouldn’t really learn any swimming strokes until week three and four, and I doubt we’d get that far this summer. I really just want to do basic drownproofing in case he steps off a dock when fishing, or steps off a boat, or is running around the side of a pool and falls in!”

“You’ll be driving 70 miles round trip a day!”

“I know!”

“When do the classes start?”

*sigh* “Monday. It may be too late to sign up.”

We took our kids to get swimming lessons faithfully when they were small, but they didn’t *really* learn to swim until we got a pool. I was terrified that they would get into water and I wouldn’t be able to save them because, you see, I have a morbid fear of water. I can’t even stand in a shallow pool without hyperventilating. I should obviously live in a place with no open water, but here I am, in Florida.

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