Monday, August 10, 2015

How 3 Fish & 3.5 Landlubbers Spent the Last 2 Weeks

Today, on this Monday morning, I got to sleep in--something I had not been able to do for the previous two Mondays.

You see, Josiah, David, and Tobin had swimming lessons; and the 9:15 start time meant that every morning, for two weeks, we had to be up and at 'em, with everyone dressed in the appropriate clothes, extra clothes packed for those who would need to change, a big jug of ice water to quench our thirst all morning long, snacks to pass the time and fill hungry tummies, and whatever other supplies we might need for that particular morning's errands.  I like very much our normal habit of relaxed mornings, but we didn't have many of those during the past two weeks!

However, I was very glad to get the three oldest boys into these swimming lessons.  It's not an easy thing to do.  Because of the way the system is set up with city residents favored over county ones, we are never allowed to register on the first day of open registration; and it's not at all uncommon for all the available spots to be filled up before the second day even begins, especially for the beginner level.  Tobin has been waiting--patiently?--for his turn for lessons and was THRILLED that finally, this summer, we were able to land a spot for him in the Level One class.  Josiah and David, in the Level Three class, didn't have as much competition so I wasn't surprised that we got them in the class, but for Tobin, it was definitely a victory, and we rejoiced when we were able to get him signed up.  :)

But I'll confess: it wasn't the easiest thing for me to have so much time away from home during the past couple of weeks.  Since Josiah and David's class was at a different time slot than Tobin's, the whole morning would be occupied with the lessons--and whatever errands I chose to run to occupy the rest of the clan while the lessons were happening.  There was so much in-and-out of the van, buckling and unbuckling of Moriah, hauling my cumbersome tummy around, dealing with an aching back, and...  Waa!  Waa!  Waa!  I sound like a big baby.  OK, I AM a big baby.  ;-)  But it was a stretch for me to find the energy and patience to joyfully make it through each morning.

On the good side, we got to see Jeff a lot more than usual those weeks because his barber shop is right next to the pool.  :)  Even more, it was a pleasure to hear how much my three oldest sons were enjoying themselves in their lessons; and I especially delighted in seeing how Tobin took so naturally to it.  "You're a fish!" I told him one day recently, and he beamed.  :)  He is SO much more comfortable in the water than I was when I started swimming lessons many years ago!  :)

On the last day of class, each of the students was awarded certificates; and on it was indicated whether they had passed that level or not.  It's not the slightest bit unusual for a child to spend several sessions on the same level; but we were delighted to see that each of our boys passed and was moved up to the next level!  I guess all those mornings away from home were worth it.  ;-)

Here are a bunch of pictures that capture the pleasantness of swimming lessons.  I didn't take any that showed my struggle to not give in to exhaustion and grumpiness; but from time to time, that was real, too.  ;-)

Nearly every day, we would spend some time up the hill from the pool, at a nice little park.  From there, we could look down and see the peace and stillness of the unoccupied pools before the lessons began.

There was a variety of playground equipment, but my kids' favorite by far was this spiderweb climbing thing.
If I have more gray hair on my head than I did a month ago, I blame it on this climbing web.  ;-)

Of course, the boys wanted to climb all the way to the top (duh, Mom!); and I kept thinking (but didn't say), "What if they fall?  There's nothing to protect them!"  But they didn't fall.  :)
We always took a snack; and more times than not, this ended up being Moriah's breakfast because she usually didn't eat anything before we left the house in the mornings.

Eating outside in the fresh air is more fun anyway.  ;-)

As the lessons began, we could look down...
...and see Josiah and David walking with their class to their spot in the pool.

I'm extremely fond of this next picture, and all the more so because it was such a fortunate occurrence.  I literally plopped the camera down on the end of the picnic table, set the self-timer button, then clicked it.  I had no idea what would come of it--whether we would be in the frame, whether we would be in focus, etc.--but was delighted when this came out!  :)

Oh, great!  Another climbing structure!  More gray hair!!  ;-)
Even Moriah liked to swing on the spiderweb, but happily she stayed low and didn't try to ascend all the way.  For now, anyway...  ;-)
As you can see, Shav figured out how to climb this formation, too; and on the one hand, I think it's fantastic for kids to be able to do things like this and take risks.
But one day when we were there, he did fall part of the way as he was climbing down.  He cried from the shock but wasn't seriously hurt, but pop! pop! pop!  A few more gray hairs showed up on my head.  ;-)

Finally, after the first hour of lessons each day, Tobin's turn came; and he enthusiastically participated with his class.  :)

That gave the rest of us time to go play or run a quick errand.
On this particular day, Moriah was intent on showing her two biggest brothers her newest feat at the playground.

She learned how to go down this slide...
...without anyone helping her!  :)  That's the kind of thing we all knew she could do, but she had to convince herself of it.  :)
More climbing - oh, joy.  ;-)

Like I said earlier, I was very glad that Josiah, David, and Tobin got to have these lessons; it was fun to see their skills develop, and also fun to have time each day to play with my other kids and focus on them, away from household tasks.  So I'm grateful for all of that.  :)

But this morning, I was also grateful that I didn't have to wake up to an alarm clock and didn't have to go anywhere!  ;-)

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