Thursday, June 14, 2012

Just Keep Swimming

I signed Jacob up for swimming lessons a few months ago - the one with the bubble. I figured that none of the children knew how to swim so he was no different. I left his Benik brace on his right hand to be sure the instructor would notice that he was different, but I did not share how he was different because I was confident that Jacob would be able to hold on to the side of the pool. I already knew he could kick and I knew he had strength in his arms. But had I not pulled him from the water, he would have drown. He was afraid and the instructor was not experienced. I asked if there was someone who could assist him in the water and the following week, an intern was assigned to Jacob. He screamed and cried for me for about 20 minutes of the 30 minute lesson. The intern was not prepared to handle him. And so I withdrew Jacob from swimming lessons. I was given a prorated credit with the stipulation that the credit would be used for private lessons. I had already spent months trying to work out a schedule with the adapted aquatics instructor, but it was impossible which is why I signed Jacob up for the regular swimming lessons. Anyways, I went in last week to sign Matthew up and asked to speak with someone about this stipulation. When I was explaining why I withdrew Jacob from swimming, I thought I was going to cry, like I had just chipped off a piece of his dignity. He's three years old in the beginner swimming class with a bubble, just a step above the Mommy and Me class. Teach him how to swim God damn it! But no. Then I would have been missing a piece of my own dignity. So I called Jacob's pediatrician for a referral to aquatic therapy in Providence. Hasbro Children's Rehabilitation is wonderful and the pool is heated.

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