I didn't think it would happen, but Owen graduated his swim class this past Friday! Even at the beginning of his last week, he wasn't completing his rolls like he had been the 2nd week of class. But for some reason it all came back very quickly to him. I think he was finally feeling better from his ear infection... He completed all his tests in both summer clothes and winter clothes, and even though he never really enjoyed it, I am so encouraged with how he finished things up. Next spring we'll probably bring him back to an ISR class so he can learn how to add swimming to his sequence. Until then, we're going to practice his float/roll every time we go to the pool and enjoy the water after that! (I didn't get as many good videos of him in his winter clothes, so I included the summer clothes from the day before...)
As a reward for both boys graduating, we took them to Build A Bear Workshop and let them get an animal. (this is something Ethan has wanted to do forever!) Ethan knew exactly what animal he wanted - the panda bear - and when asked what he was going to name him, "X Ray" was the only option. (I have no idea.) Owen attached to his dog early on, but towards the end he was more interested in pulling all the clothes off the hooks.
I have had several people ask me if doing this class was worth is - I believe it was. The time of going every day was a huge commitment, but it flew by and didn't really seem to keep us from doing anything major. Ethan loves the water now and LOVES swimming. As he jumped in to the pool and swam to me over and over this weekend, I was so thankful for the classes. Even though Owen screamed every swim lesson, he still loves the water and wanted to go down the water slide with Chris over and over...so it's a relief knowing we didn't scar him! There is peace of mind knowing the boys know what do if they ended up the water unexpectedly, but it hasn't made me any less obnoxious about trying to make sure it doesn't happen. (that probably will never go away!) The cost of the classes is the only hang-up I still have about it all. It's hard trying to convince people to spend that much on a swim class when floaties or a life jacket seem to be just fine right now. I do, however, think that it's hard to put a price tag on preparing you child as well as you can for an unforeseen accident, so for that reason I am at peace with the money spent.
Going forward, we'll spend the rest of the summer enjoying the pool! Ethan won't wear floaties or anything from here on out. (which has been one small downside b/c I can't just let him go to the "big pool" with his friend's in floaties by himself b/c he's not completely self sufficient in the water...but I know he'll get there...) It's been easy to practice his skills since swimming is all he wants to do. With Owen, we'll have to get him to roll once every time we go to the pool, but he'll be able to spend time in "flotation devices" since he didn't learn to swim. We may send Ethan for a refresher course when Owen goes back to learn to swim this next spring. And we'll probably enroll Ethan in some sort of swim class next summer so he can start learning the different strokes, etc. I'm realizing that this education will be ongoing! For now, we wrap up this chapter of the boys swimming education!!! Thanks for reading. :)