It was May 6, 2016, and the Northside Independent School District here in San Antonio had a half-day of school. It also happened to be the Friday of Mother's Day weekend. As it had been a very warm Spring, most neighborhood pools were already opened for the summer season, but were without lifeguards until late May, so the pools were "Swim at your own risk". Several families decided to head to the subdivision pool after getting the kids from school. All the kids from these families ranged in the 3-7-year-old range and were in floaties or puddle jumpers while playing in the pool. They decided to order pizza to be delivered, and once it arrived, the moms got the kids out, took jackets/floaties off, and started preparing the food to eat. One of the little 4-year-old boys decided he wasn't hungry and walked to the midsection of the pool which happened to be the deepest end and jumped in.
As a swim instructor for the past 20 years, I have had swimmers of all ages and abilities. Some wore goggles and some did not. It is not mandatory to wear goggles while swimming. But... for the next few paragraphs, I am going to explain some benefits of wearing them.
Swimming was something that young women, growing up in Denver, just didn't do. You should understand that in my Mom’s day there were no public swimming pools. To cool off on hot days, people went to the various lakes around the city. Typically, the boys and men would dive off docks into the cold lakes and would swim around, and the women and girls would sunbathe and wade in the shallow parts of the lake. Swimming lessons were nonexistent. The way that most people learned to swim was the “sink or swim” method: you were pushed into the water and either you made it back to the dock or someone would pull you out. So, like many people in that generation, my mom never learned to swim.
I have been teaching swim lessons since I was 17 years old. No one needed to tell me the importance of learning how to swim and what an impact it can have in a child’s life. However, having a child changes how you view everything.
So you’ve signed your children up for swim lessons and established a routine. It goes something like this: school pick up, straight to lessons, change into bathing suits, healthy snack, bathroom break, and then into the pool. With kids away, you have an entire 30 minutes to yourself. Now what?