Sunday, March 1, 2015

Little Fish Grows Up

Iyla has been in swim lessons since she was 6 months old, and admittedly I was nervous about her graduating to 'Big Girl' lessons this session. This move meant that I would no longer be getting into the water with her; she would be swimming independently with her teacher.

Iyla has always loved her Water Babies swim lessons. She has also always been very clingy with me during these classes, hesitant to allow her teacher to hold her or interact with her. I definitely worried about how she would do without me in the water once the new classes began.

Well, it turns out that when you remove the Mama crutch, these little buggers step up their game!

It's nothing short of amazing. Iyla is in a class with 3 other little boys around the same age, and this is the first time all of them have been swimming independently of their parents. The teacher (Mr. John) noted that toddlers consistently surprise him and their parents with their ability to embrace this step toward independence. It's almost as if I can see Iyla's confidence growing as she sits with her peers at the edge of the pool. She listens to the teacher and actively participates in class. She turns around with a huge smile to call out "Hi Mama!" as I sit and observe.

She was absolutely ready for this step, and just needed a gentle nudge out of the nest.

And it turns out I am not the most anxious Mama in the parent crowd; every week I sit next to a Mama who legitimately screams out and constantly jerks toward jumping in the pool after her son. It's actually quite comical, and makes me feel like the most laid back Zen Mama around (which I am not).

Watching Iyla become more and more independent and confident makes me wonder about what other areas of her life I might be over-sheltering her. What other crutches might I gently remove to help her build her sense of self and accomplishment even more?

And so it goes… the constant learning curve of parenthood. It's a process of slowly letting go toward allowing your child to fully experience life. They need to fall down in order to learn how to get back up again; to swim freely without bumping into parental limitations.

I'm so proud of my little fish… and so grateful to be on this learning adventure with her!


  1. Amazing! And also amazing you have a swim class for toddlers that doesn't require 1:1 adult child ratio! I would LOVE to have one of those. I haven't been able to give the kids swim lessons because there's only one of me and two of them. I would love something like this where they could sit on the side and wear the floaties ... that would be so great.

  2. I would love to get C into swimming because he loves the pool, but as a working mom I can't find classes that work! There aren't any on weekends. :( But, I do get into the pool with him when I can and he is quite the dare devil. I have to keep my eye on him because he will jump into the pool without telling me first. I do agree that we tend to cling to our littles more than we should sometimes. I am glad you are finding ways to let go and allow for more independence. I think it's a great step.