Jack's first swim lesson was 30 minutes of roller-coaster emotions. When we got there he was so excited he kept creeping up to the side while we waited for the time to begin. He did great, once in the water, walking from one side of the steps to the other. He is great at kicking and splashing. And he is pretty good at laying on his back with the help of the teacher. He stayed like that for a whole round of "Rock-a-Bye-Baby."
But then it came time to "spider walk." This is where the child holds the edge and walks their feet along the wall, then climbs out a couple feet down, with the teacher holding them up, of course. Well, this was scary. After Jack climbed out of the pool, he came straight over to me and hugged me with his wet, crying self. He told me how scary it was and how he didn't like "spider walking."
He teacher was very patient and good and coaxed him back in. He tentatively performed the other exercises, though very timidly. They ended with one more spider walk, which he did, through crying eyes. His teacher told him how brave he was. He said, "No, I'm not, it's scary!" To which she replied, "Being brave is being scared, and doing it anyway."
He seemed to like this explanation. We talked all the way out about how it was scary, but he tried anyway and that made him brave.
We went to McDonald's for a Brave Boy Lunch and talked about all the brave things he will try on Thursday.