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I Have Wasted My Last Nickel on Swim Lessons

My children will never be lifeguards. Like their parents and grandparents before them, my children are destined not to be swimmers.

How bad is their swimming genealogy? My mother graduated from college only because her counselor found a way to waive what was at that time a mandatory swimming credit. Likewise, my father-in-law barely made it through college without drowning in the university pool. Interesting side note: He went to Ohio State, which didn't allow clothing in the pool--so yes, he had to pass his all-male swimming class in the nude. (I am NOT making this up; these requirements still exist.)

I have tried to help my children become real swimmers. As a kid I spent a LOT of time at the lake and developed some basic swimming skills but don't have any fancy strokes to share. Unfortunately, their father sinks like a stone, so I should have known our kids were not destined to take on Michael Phelps.

Over the past few years I have tried a number of swimming lessons at a number of pools. The first time I took Ryan to swimming lessons, he was one-year-old (you do ambitious things like that for your first kid). He was within the age range for the class BUT the teenage instructors didn't seem to realize they were dealing with a baby. The very first lesson they said now we're going to the deep end. I asked why. The kid responded well, they need to get used to the deep end for when they go off the diving board. MY SON IS 12 MONTHS OLD. I went back to the office, got my money back and never went there again.

The second time was at a different pool. The instructor seemed more mature, the class small, but she had some book she followed for the lessons, which had her teaching my kid who could barely put his face in the water a complicated backstroke. Waste. Of. Time.

I could go on about the shivering four-year-olds crying at the edge of the pool, the class of 13,000 kids taught by two guys younger than my socks.... It's been a nightmare. So I am declaring now--and let the PC mommy armies advance--that we are not doing anymore swim lessons.

I want my children to be safe around water and I want them to develop basic dog paddling but the 1500 meters Butterfly is not in our future.


  1. I learned to swim at age 20 in college! (They made us wear suits at the Christian college. Ahem.) Took Joshua to his first round of swimming lessons ever this week. He'll be long as he NEVER has to put his FACE in the water. Oy!


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