Gareth started swimming lessons tonight. I spent all last week worrying that it was this week already and that I'd forgotten about swimming lessons, only to have Ryan get home tonight and, as I was about to head out for a couple dinner ingredients, ask if Gareth wasn't supposed to have swimming tonight. Thankfully he remembered 30 minutes before the lesson was supposed to start!
I wish I'd thought to bring my camera with me to record Gareth getting into the pool. He's in a group of four and five year olds. They keep a 6 to 1 student to teacher ratio (though his section has a 4 to 1 ratio right now), dividing the kids out into skill levels. Gareth made it obvious that he needed to be in the lowest skill level when he was the last one to enter the water. He got his legs in, but was clinging to the side of the pool for dear life, holding his torso out of the water. They had to pry him off the side to get him in. He told us in the car later that he wasn't sure if there was a floor or not, so that's why he was nervous about getting in. Makes sense to me. A lot more sense than my irrational fear (that I held for much longer than I'd care to admit) that the black lines on the bottom of the YMCA pool would turn into sharks and eat me.
Once he was in he got comfortable pretty quickly. His instructor didn't make them submerge themselves under the water, but did get him to blow bubbles with his mouth and nose. Not too bad, for a first lesson. They also worked on kicking while holding onto the side of the pool and on floating on their backs (with the instructor's help, of course). He was very excited about it and talked about how much fun it was and that he hadn't known he could do all those things before. Good thing he likes it; we signed him up for two classes so he'd go twice per week rather than just once. Having him like it will make the other night when I take him by myself (with Malcolm in tow) much easier. And hopefully by the end of the summer he'll have made some good progress!