Swim school for littles in Manhattan

After hearing about her bestie at school who started swim lessons just a block away from us back in February, we signed Kaia up for swim classes with the same program for each Sunday morning. I convinced Chris that he should be the one to take her every Sunday. I figured — he’s not working full-time anymore, and I really need Sunday morning for food prep and cooking for the week, so this arrangement just made sense. The swim class itself is only 30 minutes long, but once you factor in walking there, getting ready, getting in and out of the pool, and drying/washing off, the overall process is probably over an hour.

The funny thing that Chris noticed when we signed her up is that even though Kaia was just over two years old when she started swim lessons, most of the kids in level 1, or “tadpole” level, were much, much younger than her. The swim cap for level 1 didn’t even fit her, so she was given the level 2 swim cap since her head was so big. It made me laugh because it made me remember when I was age… SIXTEEN, taking swim lessons at Sava Pool in the Sunset district of San Francisco each morning during the summer after my sophomore year, and being the oldest person by at least 11-12 years in my swim classes. It was completely mortifying. I befriended two of the swim instructors, and one of them became a (temporary) good friend of mine. With Kaia initially being the “old” person in her swim level, it made me realize how involved parents of this generation are and how everyone seems to want their kids to do activities as young and as early as possible. In addition, I still remember how cheap my swim lessons were: each class (so each weekday morning) cost $1.00; it cost only $0.50 to access the pool. So each week, I spent a whopping $7.50 out of pocket on swim lessons for myself. I can assure you that Kaia’s swim lessons are not ANYWHERE as cheap as mine were back then.

Since Chris will be in Australia for his cousin’s wedding the next two weekends, it will be my responsibility to take her to swim class (and go in the water with her, until she reaches Level 3, when the caregiver no longer needs to accompany the child). So I went with them today to the class to see what the process was like to check in, go into the locker room, and get to the pool. Honestly, I do not think having me there observing was helpful: Kaia was very distracted and kept waving at me to get my attention (as though I wasn’t already looking at her…). Chris said the teacher assigned to her was not great. But I was happy I came to observe because it made me so proud to see Kaia pretty comfortable both in the water and with the instructor. There were moments when I was so happy to see her splashing around (even if just playing) that I almost teared up. That’s my little Pookie growing up.

We may not have had all the things we wanted as children, but I do think it’s our job to create a better childhood and life for our kids than we had. I hope Kaia becomes the confident swimmer I never became.

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