Up To My Head

Our son, 52 months old, began his swimming lessons last month.

When he’s in the pool, he smiles and splashes water on other children, but when they reciprocate, he gazes at me: his eyebrows shrinking together = he’s complaining. From the comforts of the lounge chair, I could only gesture him to focus on his lessons.

When he’s out of the pool, he’s shivering, his teeth clattering, legs struggling to move, feet unsure of the wet concrete.

Last week, as part of the drill, all the kids had to wait in line before they jumped in the water. In the 3-second clip below, it was his turn to jump. But before he did, he said, “Up to my head,” while pointing his finger up and trembling enough to win his master’s empathy. His robust sound, rare in public, echoed off the arched glass ceiling, eliciting laughter.

“Up to your head?” his swim instructor or master retorted.

We knew he was not ready to put his head in the water yet.

After that session, when he was standing under a hot shower in the locker room, he stressed that I should tell the instructor next time that he should always do, “Up to my head.”

Glancing at his face, I saw that the space between his eyebrows shrank, the shower sound muting our silence.

11 thoughts on “Up To My Head

  1. Your son sounds very energetic and knows what he wants. From the photo, it seems that he doesn’t mind the swimming lessons…but does he like getting wet? 😀 I remember when I was a kid I never liked swimming lessons but was forced to take them as it was compulsory at my school we all learn some basic swimming. Water really is not my thing. Give me a good stretch of land or rugged terrain and I’m happy to hike up and down it all day as opposed to jumping in the water.

    It sounds like your son likes company, and it seems in the beginning that he fed off the energy of the other kids. Maybe he is sort of extraverted by nature 🙂

    • “Give me a good stretch of land or rugged terrain and I’m happy to hike up and down it all day as opposed to jumping in the water” – you’re funny, Mabel 🙂 I like that it was compulsory at your school – it’s a must-know skill, a life saver. We never had swimming classes in school and though I’ve been in and out of pools all my life I’m learning swimming only now.

      Son loves getting wet as long as his head is above water. But he’s getting better after seven sessions of swimming 🙂

      Thanks, Mabel, for writing. Much appreciated! 🙂

      • Even when it’s a hot summer’s day, I will still choose hiking in the sun over swimming in the water 🙂 Agree swimming can be a life-saving skill and I wish you all the best with your swimming. Your son can give you some pointers 🙂

  2. Your Son is adorable..And my granddaughter was the same.. She loved being in the water but did not like water over her head.. It can soon unnerve them if they are not ready..
    Now she is fine with it. It will come… As he grows in confidence..
    Wishing you and your family well
    Sue 🙂

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