Alia’s goal for our time in the states was to learn how to swim. Yes, she is 9 and can’t swim due to her neglectful parents. Before you cast to many stones my way, try to understand that we don’t often get to a pool in China. The local university has a pool, but it isn’t very kid-friendly and the water is really cold (which makes it not so Mama-friendly either).
On trips to the states we often stay in hotels with pools and the girls get to swim. Well, this trip we haven’t been in very many hotels and we haven’t stayed long enough to swim. By the time we reached California, Alia had pretty much decided that her dream wouldn’t happen this trip.
But, it just so happened that the homes we’ve stayed in, here in California, have had pools. The water was so cold that I only let the girls stay in for 20 minutes at a time. They would crawl out with their teeth chattering and goosebumps on their arms but still begging to get back in the water.
Then the day came when I found the noodles, those long cylinder, styrofoam floats kids put under their arms to help them swim. Alia was ecstatic. I stood on the edge of the pool (where the sun kept me warm) and coached Alia. (I know, I know, I’m a wimp!) She swam beautifully with that noodle holding her up.
Finally, she decided to toss the noodle and swim on her own. The first try she swam a few strokes, got scared, and put her feet down but she wouldn’t give up. Before long, she was swimming across the shallow end completely noodleless. I never realized that I was such a great swim coach! 🙂
Maybe by our next furlough, she will be able to swim in the deep end. I’ll keep you posted!