Last night I did something I’ve never done before:
I asked for my daughter to be moved into a different class. (Oy vey, just writing that makes me start to sweat)
My kids have always been wild in the water, which is part of why I never put them in swimming lessons.
Since they were babies they’ve both been diving under the water, splashing, cannonball-ing. (Bath time in my house is a sloppy mess, what with all the jumping in from the edge and “swimming” from one end of the tub to the other.)
But the past few public lessons have brought a disturbing truth to my attention: my daughter follows her peers.
I quickly recognized this in her because I too struggle with finding my own identity in a group. (I’m the person that starts talking with an accent whenever I’m around a different dialect.)
My daughter was put into a class with a group of VERY timid swimmers, which seems to be causing some sort of regression in her.
Instead of swimming lessons making her better, she seems to be developing a hesitancy that wasn’t there before. THIS IS WHY I NEVER PUT HER IN LESSONS. (I knew I’d had a reason)
But, there is another class that is full of truly wild kids and I am just certain that if Little-Love was put into that class she would, again, feed off of her peers and embrace a more fearless approach to swimming. One that she has always expressed before.
So, last night I was sitting in the bleachers watching my daughter barely put her face in the water, while a few feet away a little girl was splashing and diving completely carefree, and I made a decision: I was going to ask to move her.
Then fear began coursing through my veins.
I hate talking to strangers when it’s about something POSITIVE, so asking to move my daughter was literally giving me heart-attack-like symptoms.
To make matters worse, the woman who was in charge of placing the children in their levels walked right past me, even pausing for a few painful minutes RIGHT in front of me and I STILL couldn’t muster the courage.
(This is one area of parenting that I have long feared I would fail at–namely, standing up for my children. Would my fear win out?)
I took a deep breath and mustered the courage to approach this woman, a big deal because I now had to walk down the bleachers and across the deck to catch her.
I asked her about the move and immediately began talking her out of it:
“I mean, it’s fine if she can’t move.
I think her teacher is doing great!
She’s definitely having fun, so I suppose it doesn’t really matter.
If it’s too much trouble please don’t worry about it.
I’m just so sorry to bother you, etc. etc.”
The director must have thought I was a lunatic, but she just smiled, told me she thought it was a good idea, and said she would check to see if it was at all possible.
I breathed a sigh of relief, I’d done it. I walked back to the bleachers, (where someone had taken my seat, literally sitting right over the top of my stuff–so I found a seat behind them. One confrontation was more than enough for me) and watched the rest of class unfold, feeling very proud of myself.
I often worry about what people will think of me–still, after all this time.
I don’t want to be that mom who always acts like their kid is the best, or too good. I don’t want anyone thinking that I “know better” then the professionals.
Oh please, please don’t think badly of me!
But, in this case, I really do feel like I understand the situation.
Maybe my girl really is developing a timidness in the water–maybe she will try out this new class and not fit in and have to be moved back.
But maybe she will thrive in a harder environment, and maybe-maybe-maybe I will have done the right thing by speaking up on my daughters behalf.
Either way, I believe I did the right thing. I followed my gut and didn’t let my fear get in the way of my parenting.
I’m calling this one a win.