It was strike of the ‘floater’ today.
You see, at baby girl’s swim school, there are the swimming teachers who can be found in the swimming pool lanes, teaching and guiding children through their pre-school and primary years as they learn the various techniques and skills required to swim independently on their own.
Then there are what I call, the ‘floaters.’
Most of them are also swim teachers. These ‘floaters’ wander around the indoor swim arena, from lane to lane, sussing out the kids within the classes and observing whether or not it is time they are tested.
A floater doesn’t pop up for a swim lesson on every occasion. I remember when a floater arrived at baby girl’s class many months ago, and I watched as suddenly one of the boys in the class was put to the test. He swam laps, practiced with his head underwater, and went up and down the lane repeatedly until they were content he was able enough to go up a level into another swimming class.
Well today, a floater arrived at baby girl’s swim lane. And I knew immediately, she was UP.
I had only observed 10 minutes earlier, how she was the tallest of the 3 in her class. Sure she is a tall gal, but I checked out the boy on one side of her, slightly shorter, perhaps half a year younger than her. Then the girl on her left, a good 18 months younger, and very new to the class. I wondered, ‘when would a floater arrive to push baby girl up a level?’
So when one did arrive, I knew who it was for.
I watched keenly as baby girl was put to the pace. Instead of the usual firm yet supportive encouragement by baby girl’s swim teacher, it was –
“Keep your head under water! Go go go, kick kick kick!”
THE HEAT WAS ON.
She swam with her head underwater, and that in itself appeared to be fine. Next she had to swim on her back, and here I watched as she went up once in the shorter lane…
The floater bent down to her and told her a few things, ending with a smile. I knew what she would be saying. Baby girl had to hold the floaties in her hand at her side, and not fan them out as she habitually did.
…so again she went, up the lane.
The boy was also swimming alongside her, so I was thinking “is he being tested too?”
Again, they sent baby girl up the lane on her back. I watched her as she kicked as hard as she could with all her might. Near the end she slowed down, but she never sunk down. She kept her back straight, held her arms as close as possible to her body, until her head touched the wall behind her.
I was so proud of her. No matter what eventuated, she had made a stellar effort. She hadn’t given up. She had risen to the challenge.
The swim teacher and the floater conferred with one another. I watched carefully, as they said some words to baby girl… there was smiling, a high five… then the swim teacher found me in the crowd and mouthed something while pointing up.
“What?” I mouthed back.
She pointed up again, and held up three fingers. “She’s moving up to level 3.”
My heart soared with joy, and I immediately felt an emotional onslaught of tears coming on. I tried to hold them back.
“Get a grip SmikG. The floater will be here any second.”
I knew this because of all the times I had heard and seen other parents be visited by the floaters and be told their child was moving to a higher level. I had been privy to this once before too.
Sure enough, in a matter of minutes she was over and we were discussing new session times. I was overwhelmed with joy… my girl was growing up and every day it was hitting me harder. She was finishing kindergarten and heading into primary school next year. She was becoming more independent, choosing to do things on her own without help, and responding to challenges and succeeding (like yesterday’s post).
This was yet another thing to alert me to the fact that she was growing up. It was so beautiful, but there was a touch of bittersweet-ness to it. Because she would be needing me less and less, and be doing more and more on her own.
‘But that’s the whole point,’ I reassured myself in my head. ‘That’s what you want.’
It doesn’t mean that it isn’t hard.
I was so proud of her and her effort, and that more than anything, even more than her moving up a level, is what I am most grateful for today. ♥