Amy Bartek and her daughter Sawyer share their expereince from our Lincoln, NE location.
Sawyer started her first swimming lesson on Jan 4th right after the Christmas break. I was a very nervous mother. I was uneasy about my child being in the water without me and concerned of how she was going to react and handle herself. Starting any new activity can be tough with your child, no matter if you have done this before with your other children or completely new to it like I was with swimming lessons.
Sawyer is 3 years old and the best way to describe her is as a spirted child, spirted meaning stubborn and beats to her own drum. Her father, my husband, would say that she gets these trait form her mother. Being a mother of 3 and Sawyer being the middle child, she pushes me to my limits daily. When I take her to new things I never know how she is going to react. Will she be the child clinging for her mama, or the one that won’t listen to the teacher and you are sitting there in horror, sinking lower and lower into the chair knowing it’s your child making the teacher want to pull out their hair.
When we got to Swimtastic for the first time we got there a little early to sign all the papers and waivers. When we walked in the young man that was working at the front desk instantly greeted us like he was expecting us which help put some easy to this mama. Sawyer was shy and stared at him but he quickly gave Sawyer a yellow fish chip. He explained to her that she was going to be with the yellow team and she would stand by the yellow fish to meet her teacher. Sawyer gripped onto that yellow chip like it was the last piece of candy she will ever get. I got her undressed down to her swim suit and towel and we both waited intently by the yellow fish for the teacher to come. I think Sawyer could feel my uneasiness but I tried to act excited and tell her how fun it was going to be but the look on Sawyer’s face I knew she was not buying it.
Mr. Tristen is Sawyer’s teacher, he is a young man with blonde hair. When he opened the door to the pool he first came to us probably because he could tell we were first timers. He took Sawyer’s hand and introduced himself and me being the helicopter mom that I am told him this is our first time she is nervous and she probably will cry. He assured me that was normal and he will make sure she feels safe.
Mr. Tristen and Sawyer walked into the pool area. Sawyer was not crying, I felt like this was a parenting win…. But then the door closed and then the sobbing tears came from Sawyer and the pit of my stomach ached. Mr. Tristen instantly picked up Sawyer and took her into the pool and held her. He walked around the pool to get her use to the surroundings and in what seemed like a lifetime but more realistically 5 minutes Sawyer was back with the rest of her class sitting on the step waiting for her next instruction. For the rest of the class time she did really well, floated on her back, started to do kicks and blow bubbles. Seeing Sawyer’s face when she was splashing around with her new and Mr. Tristen talking to each kid individually making them feel special relieved a lot of stress I was feeling.
After class Mr. Tristen talked with me on how he will be working on getting Sawyer comfortable with the water and him as a teacher. We changed into dry clothes and headed to leave, the young man that checked us in said a pleasant good bye and told Sawyer how proud he was of her, and that made my heart melt because I was so proud of her too!
Sawyer has had 3 swimming lessons so far and each time she seems to be a little less anxious about going into the water. She loves her teacher Mr. Tristen and last week when she was having a melt down before class I was able to walk her into the pool and hand her over to Mr. Tristen and she instantly was put at ease.
I can tell just after 3 weeks of lessons Sawyer is becoming more comfortable in the water, she was in the bathtub last night laying on her belly doing her kicks and saying “swimming, I am swimming, mama I am swimming.”