Learn to Swim - NOW!
Yesterday, I started to write the previous post about cycling cornering technique (and the wind in France) after a picnic at on the river bank at the junction of the Canal du Midi and the Herault river at Agde. But I’m supposed to be on holiday, and so I gave in to pressure from Daughter to play lions & antelope. I was a very good antelope, with a set of horns made out of a stick, getting suitably spooked when the ‘lion’ jumped out from the tall grass . . .
. . . the tall grass at the top of the river bank, about eight feet above the river. Can you guess what comes next?
Daughter was suddenly standing on grass rather than river bank, with the inevitable sudden, eyes-wide-with-terror disappearance. Sliding, and then tumbling down to the SPLASH in the cold, silty river.
By the time I got there, she’d swum back to the bank, within reach once I’d climbed / jumped down to grab her. The trouble was that the bank was so steep that I couldn’t climb / drag her up without falling in myself. Thankfully, with both in-laws and Wife at hand, we formed a human chain to eventually get everyone back on terra firma & dried / wrapped up / fed chocolate.
OK, so here are the points for this post:
- Yes, more responsible parents would have checked out the river bank, and probably prevented Daughter from getting into such a position in the first place. But then again, children need to experience risk & danger if they’re to grow up with a sensible attitude to life. (and if I keep telling myself that, maybe the nightmares will stop, and I’ll start believing it).
- Daughter had swimming lessons at our local council’s course for six months last year, and hadn’t learnt to swim. So this January, on advice from Daughter’s boyfriend’s parents (don’t get me started on this - so much for the “she’s not having a boyfriend ’till she’s 40″), we joined a local private gym (£45 a month . . . but also handy for my training), and booked her into lessons with Swimtime - about £8 per half-hour lesson, booked in blocks of 6-8 lessons. After only her second lesson with the excellent Fiona and Suzana, she could swim enough to get her out of yesterday’s problems. We wanted her to learn to swim because we live right next to the sea . . . but if you’re a parent reading this, find a great swimming teacher near where you live, and make sure your kids can swim. You never can tell when you’ll be glad of every penny you spent.