Sunday, July 3, 2016

Things to not forget

Emily and Caleb are currently taking swim lessons through our Parks and Rec. Department. Lessons are Monday-Thursday for three weeks. Whew! It's been quite a commitment for me. I have to wake Anna Kate up early from her nap four days in a row. Every day I have the towels and wet bathing suits and sunscreen application to deal with. On top of all that, I have to keep Anna Kate entertained for an hour and half near a pool that she's not allowed to get in to play. Obviously, I'm not doing this for the fun of it. I think learning to swim well is hugely important or I would not put myself through this daily. On top of all of that, I accidentally double booked myself. Last week I had to pick Emily up at 2:30 from Girl Scout Camp in order to make our 2:45 swim lesson. (Camp ended at 3pm, but I requested to pick her up early.) I could have given myself more time, but I was trying to let AK sleep as long as possible. (Poor baby usually naps almost three hours and last week only got 1 1/2 hrs. or less) The swim center is less than a mile down the road from camp. Girl Scout Camp had an awesome car pool line so that Emily could get checked out and hop in the van without me having to park or unload the kids. It was so convenient. Anyway, all of that to say that we only had 15 minutes or less to drive to the swim center and get Emily changed into her swim suit in time for her lesson.

This week I could really see growth and maturity in Emily and it has made me LOVE having older kids. This is what we did. Emily is very familiar with the swim center having taken lessons there for three summers. I let Emily out of the van at the front entrance so she could check-in and get a head start on changing. Meanwhile, I parked the van. (It's always a bit of a walk to the entrance.) I unloaded Anna, Caleb, our stroller, and our swim bag. By the time I had done all of that, Emily was already in the pool and on time for class. She even had folded her change of clothes neatly where we sit to watch her. Amazing. I love having an older kid. I don't know if I would have done that last year or if Emily would have been mature enough to trust. Honestly, I might not have let her have this tiny bit of extra responsibility had it not been more or less necessary for us to be on time. I've been reminded how much growth and maturity takes place in just one year. It's mostly wonderful, but I can't help but think how quickly they are all going to grow up.

Caleb's first year of lessons. 
Little buddy was hesitant his first day even though the kid loves the water. He just wasn't so sure about going in without a parent. First day he was a little clingy and didn't want me to leave his side. He was almost on the verge of crying. I encouraged him and told him he could do it. As I walked away, I could see he was building up the resolve to do it, but needed one more thing. "Mommy, I need to kiss you!" he said. He ran a few steps to me. I bent down to his level, and he popped a good kiss on my check and hugged my neck. Then, as soon as he did that, he bravely stepped down the stairs and into the pool to his instructor. That boy melts my heart. He does that at bedtime, too. Always wants me to lie down beside him for just a little while to cuddle. As I stand up to leave his room, he'll call me back one more time and say, "Wait Mommy! I need to kiss you first." It's the last thing he does to get the reassurance he needs before falling asleep on his own. Oh, dear boy. Mama loves that my love makes you brave.

Our friends had class with us, too! We spent a lot of time together during the first two week of swim lessons. I wanted to take this photo with them since they are moving so soon! We will miss them dearly! Emily also had swim class with her our former neighbor, Riley. It was fun to see him and his mama every day, too. 

Little sis looking chill. I brought snacks, drinks, books, etc. to try to keep her happy in the stroller for as long as possible. After I let her out of the stroller, she would wander around making it hard to keep her out of the pool area and watch the children swim. The last week I had had enough and just started taking walks with her during swim class and missed many of the lessons.