Yesterday, Thursday, was Josh's third swimming lesson. After reading from that book the Em gave me, I decided to try to encouraging approach and not try to pressure Josh at all. So before the lessons started I talked to Josh about what he wanted his goal to be. He said he wanted to sit on the second step in the water, and so we decided that was what we were going to shoot for. If he didn't get in, I kept telling myself it wouldn't be horrible, we would just keep trying because it was something he wanted to accomplish.
So we got to the pool and he was super excited like the two times before. This time though, he only got half way to where everyone else was getting in the water and started crying. The teachers started encouraging him, waving him over, but nope, he wouldn't budge. So after a minute or so, I left Matthew and Caleb with my friend Jessica (I would be lost without all these other women in the world), and walked over to my skinny little guy in the blue suit.
I hugged him and told him it was okay to be scared, and reminded him of his goal to sit on the second step and asked if he still wanted to do that. He nodded his very red and tear stained face and so I held his hand and we walked over to the steps. He stepped one step down so the tips of his little toes were barely covered and then froze. Then he sat down, but I didn't let go of my hand. So I asked if he wanted to step one more step down like he had wanted to do. The only response I got was a quick jerk of his head saying no. So I told him I needed to go back to Matthew (I was sure he was going to make a run for the water any minute, he is not cautious in the least), and told Josh I would be over there and if he needed me he just had to wave me over.
As I walked back to the parent side of the swimming pool, I passed the lifeguard and she asked if he was okay. I told her that he gets really excited to come here and then gets really scared as soon as the lessons start. She nodded and I joined Jessica and my little ones. A few minutes pass and then the lifeguard gets up and starts joking around with Josh and gently splashes a little bit of water on his legs. She gives him a few water rings and then leaves him to go back to her seat. Next thing I know Josh is smiling, he is actually smiling! Then he bends over and touches his hair to the tip of the water and pulls back laughing at the water trickling down his face.
Jessica and I are giggling and totally excited about this change in the little guy. Jess was so sweet, she seemed almost as happy about it as me. Then next thing I know Josh is standing up and tossing the rings in and leaning over to get them, and then next thing I know, he is all the way down the steps and neck deep kind of splashing around having the time of his life!!
All the teachers are cheering and clapping and I almost burst into tears. The little guy did it! He got in! He conquered his fear and way surpassed his goal. I am so thankful to that lifeguard and all the teachers. I don't know if Josh will have just as hard a time on Monday, but still, he got in and now he knows he can!
When his lesson was over he ran over to me (which got his teachers and me to yell at him because everyone knows there is no running by pools, but he was so excited he couldn't contain himself). So I hugged him and then quickly had to explain to him there was no running. Before I could say anything else Caleb goes,
"Josh, I'm so proud of you!!"
It was adorable.
Josh couldn't stop talking about how much fun he had and how he wished his swim lessons could last forever. As promised, we went and picked up Daddy and got ice cream. Matthew I don't think understood why he got ice cream, but he was very happy and I think he deserved it too since he only ran away to the pool edge once in the past three times we have been there.
Their happy little faces. Josh was so tired he fell asleep right at bedtime which hasn't happened in months. Hooray for swimming and hooray for my little Josh!