Maia, Mason, Marlee and Mackenna are, that's who!
We spent the first two weeks of summer vacation in swimming lessons each morning. I'd be lying if I said it didn't kick my butt a little, since Marlee's lessons started a half hour earlier than our elementary school usually starts. For us, summer vacation meant we had to be ready and out the door earlier than ever, but we managed.
The way things worked out, Teensy had her lesson first (Level III) and after her time was up, her siblings hopped in for their lessons (Mackenna in Level I, Maia and Mason in Level IV). Teensy's dream of learning to dive into the pool head-first was realized and she really held her own in a class of kids twice her age. I did have one mother ask me if Marlee has gills under her swimming suit. You really have to see this child in the water to believe it!
Mackenna is also quite an aquatic creature. At first, the forty-five minutes lesson seemed a little long to hold her under three year-old attention span, but she rallied through and eventually learned to stay in class the whole time. Now, when we go to our pool, she refuses to wear her little vest and doggie paddles around the shallow waters. Just a couple of days ago, she shocked even me when she swam solo across the width of my sister's pool without any assistance. Seriously, you'd think I know the breast-stroke from the butterfly the way my kids can swim!
Maia and Mason really do know the breast stroke from the butterfly, thanks to their stroke development course. Mason excelled in the kayak paddle freestyle and was chosen to demonstrate it to the class. He was thrilled! He also practiced diving quite a bit and was successful about half the time at getting his head in the water before his feet.
Maia is Queen of the Backstroke. She's been able to swim endlessly on her back since she was four and it shows. She really makes it look easy. She's not a huge fan of the whole jumping-in-head-first thing, but she sure does put in an effort!
One of the highlights for us at swimming lessons was that we had several friends there to help us pass the hour and a half each morning. The kids loved making towel forts with the lounge chairs and even fished a couple of little frogs out of the pool in the early morning hours.
I love that my kids are all confident in the water and I dream of the day when I can go to the pool with a magazine or book and only occasionally look up to do the head count. Of course, experience has taught me that that day will come only too soon, so in the meantime I will continue to get in the water and catch Mackenna as she jumps to me 2700 times in a row! And I'll continue to love what spending hours in the sun and water does to my children:
What Mackenna did after swimming lessons while I was in the kitchen making lunch!