We've been preparing ourselves. Mr. Ron and Mrs. Debbie have pretty much given us free reign of their swimming pool. Yeah. Awesome!! We've gotten our feet wet, done some kicking, blown some bubbles...more on that coming soon. We've talked about swim lessons and what to expect. An episode of Little Bill (a show on PBS Kids) that came on last week was about swim lessons. We watched that together and talked about it a lot, too. And then we found out that Madison, one of Conner's friends from preschool, would be taking swim lessons at the same time as us. We were pumped and ready to go.
That's Micah on the steps. (Sorry that I had to take the pic from behind the chain link fence...) He likes the steps. That's where he likes to stay at Mr. Ron and Mrs. Debbie's pool, too. My guess is that he just feels safe there.
Once the teacher finally got him to stay in the water for a few minutes at a time, he actually let her take him under the arms and float him around the pool. I was impressed -- he doesn't usually let me do that. I never did see him put his head/face in the water, though. It's possible I missed it -- I was trying to watch Conner too, and Joey was literally climbing the chain link fence that we were behind -- but Micah's hair certainly wasn't wet.
Lessons were almost over when I looked up to see Micah sitting on the side of the pool crying. I didn't know if he was in trouble, if he was scared, if he was hurt, or what had happened. But, as hard as it was, I stayed put and let the teacher take care of it. I knew that if I went out there, it would all be over.
She did manage to get him calmed back down and into the water, just as the two classes were coming together to play "Ring Around the Rosies." I didn't think she was ever going to get him away from that wall, but eventually he came, holding tightly to her hand. But then, as their little circle started to turn, Micah took off toward the middle. His teacher tried to hold on to him, but he broke loose, going straight toward his big brother. Micah broke into the circle, got a hold of Conner's hand, and was suddenly a different kid. He was smiling, he was laughing, he was more comfortable, he was more confident, he was having fun.
He still didn't blow bubbles at the end ("we all blow bubbles" instead of "we all fall down"), but it didn't matter. It was so sweet. I felt incredibly silly as I sat there watching, unchecked tears of pride and love flowing. I'm so thankful that I got to see that moment. I absolutely love that they are not only brothers, but best friends as well. I pray that Joey will get in on that too, and that they will always be that close.
When they got out, after more tears and a few minutes to get the full translation, I discovered that Micah's tears before the Ring Around the Rosies game were not for any of the reasons I had thought. It turns out that he was upset because he hadn't gotten a chance to kick like Little Bill. In the show, Little Bill had held onto the wall, floated on his tummy, and made big splashes while he kicked. Micah had been practicing his "kicking like Little Bill" at Mr. Ron and Mrs. Debbie's pool and was really excited about it, but I had no idea that it was that important! :)
So yes, we swam later in the day, and Micah did his "kicking like Little Bill." I wonder if we'll be able to explain all of that to his teacher tomorrow...
"How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!" --Psalm 133:1