About Me

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I am a retired English teacher and department head, the mother of three, grand mother of three, and have been married to the same man for 42 years. I subscribe to Dr. PM Forni's concept of Civility. I was born in South Philadelphia and grew up in the 'burbs. I love soft pretzels and cheesesteaks, the Phillies, the Eagles, and San Diego. I love being Mom, Aunt Kathy, Nona Kathy, and Teacher. I spend a lot of time in my gardens in the spring and summer, and in the winter I plan what I'm going to plant. I also am an avid reader and photographer.

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Thursday, March 31, 2011

She's Doing Swimmingly

I began my teaching career when I was 15 years old, passed the Red Cross lifeguard tests, and was hired to teach swimming at our local Y.  I taught children and on one occasion had adult students.  My parents had insisted I learn to swim at an early age and I'm thankful they did.

My children learned to swim about the same time they learned to walk.  Were they enthusiastic about swimming?  No.  Did I have to leave the pool when our Michael,  who every time he was supposed to take a breath while doing freestyle, chose instead to issue forth a blood-curdling scream? And did I ignore Robyn when at three, she tried to convince the instructor that she simply wasn't ready?  Of course I did.  But I also know that close to 1400 children die each year from drowning.  Add to this the impairments suffered from the effects of near-drowning accidents.

And so the family legacy goes on.  Kylie, our 11 year old grand daughter, is an excellent swimmer and has been swimming since she was two.  The baby is now in lessons.  She resists, but we all know how important it is to 'drown proof' our children.


17 comments:

Cheryl said...

There are so few people at my pool that can swim, and the ones that can are adults. The pool doesn't offer swimming lessons. Growing up, I thought everyone had a pool to swim in and had to take lessons. Now I see we were lucky.

The baby looks so cute in her goggles!

Linda Reeder said...

Growing up in a rural area, we did not have access to a pool, and I never learned to swim. My son had ear problems and was not allowed to get water in his ears until he was six. He can swim, but is not a strong swimmer.
Our daughter has had her kids take swimming lessons. Granddaughter is making slow progress.

Retired English Teacher said...

You are so fortunate to know how to swim. I never learned to swim because there was limited access to pools when I grew up. Also, my parents didn't seem to think it was all that important.

I had to take and pass swimming in college. I took the course and passed it. I have never really been able to swim though. I did make sure that my children learned to swim as infants. They are all swimmers. I also have paid for and insisted on lessons for my grandchildren. I think it is a necessary skill just as you said.

Kimberly said...

Excellent view on preventive measures. I wish I were a better swimmer - never could get the breathing bit down. My kids all learned early. We laugh about it now, but I actually taught my neices to swim laying on their living room carpet. It worked. They got in, took my hand, under we went, they did the movements and they've been swimmers ever since. Who needs a pool!?

Kay said...

I'm the only one in my family who can't swim. I've endured all the jokes on the mainland about how I could possibly be from Hawaii and not know how to swim. None of my friends growing up could either at the time. That's why I made sure my kids learned in Illinois. I had them taking lessons before they were even in kindergarten. They were champion swimmers in high school. The other parents were shocked that I couldn't swim. Ah well...

Gilly said...

You are very wise. Here, Councils are closing swimming pools because of funding cuts. So many children simply do not know how to swim. And then they go on School outings (though those are being cut too) and get into trouble in water.

forsythia said...

I was a gym class failure. My teachers were sure that I was faking my total incompetence in throwing, catching, hitting the ball or turning cartwheels. But I loved swimming. Still do. During the 10-minute "Adult Swim" at our community pool, we few adults have the pool to themselves. Then the whistle blows and the kids jump in. In our community, kids are encouraged to learn to swim and most of them live at the pool during the summer.

Purple Flowers said...

English Teacher, Gardener, Avid Reader, Cook, Swimming Lesson Teacher.........what don't you do? :)

Swimming is very important to learn. I see alot of adults just getting by. I wish I was a stronger swimmer,but I can swim the basic strokes..and alittle more.
Have a great weekend!

Bilbo said...

Our granddaughter Leya is doing very well with her swimming lessons, and all three of the older grandchildren are good swimmers, too. It's very important, not only for safety reasons, but because the wearing of swimming suits encourages physical fitness in both girls and boys...

Jay said...

When I took swimming lessons I sat on the side of the pool and refused to get in until I was absolutely sure I knew what to do. When I finally did get in the water, I swam like a fish. haha

Lena said...

I used to take swimming lessons from a rich family in my town that had a swimming pool in their house.

The pool room had sliding glass doors and you could see into their home and watch the maid clean the house. Pretty impressive for a farm community!

I have always loved to swim. But then again, I am a water sign!

I took my kids young, too.

Tracy said...

Kathy,
I learned to swim very young as well...I will never forget as a 9 or 10 year old I witnessed a little boy being pulled from our town pool and given mouth to mouth with no results. It's so very important to teach all children And adults how to swim.

Maggie said...

Oh Yes. I taught swimming to the little ones for years. Both my kids swam like fishes, and one was a city life guard for years. She will catch on fast. :)

Cobalt Violet said...

My form stinks but I get by and I love being in the water! I remember my sister and I did a synchronized swimming camp one summer in Junior High. So much water up my nose but it was a blast. I loved pretending I was a mermaid ... or Esther Williams!

You are so right about teaching kids. My parents have a pool and I always worried about my nephew (now 5) but he spent last summer in the pool and hopefully this summer he will get even better. Fortunately they have an electronic pool cover that is so strong you can jump on it!

Sweet Virginia Breeze said...

When I was growing up we didn't have access to a pool or a lake. We went to the creek where the deepest water was a little over 12 inches. I never learned to swim as a child. When I got to college, I had to take swimming. I was scared of the water and just barely passed (I think the teacher felt sorry for me). After we got a pool and I spent time in the water, I gradually lost my fear, but never learned to swim any distance. I think all children should be taught to swim.

Cute pictures!

vanillabeanbaker said...

What a timely post! With the warmer weather coming and the back-yard pools being opened for another season, not to mention all the wading pools etc., this is a good reminder for parents to ensure their children know how to swim as well as water safety. Adults also need to be especially diligent with young ones when at water parks and when attending back-yard BBQ's at homes that have pools...of any size.

Happyone : ) said...

I loved to swim as a kid. My mom tried to teach me when I was very young and I was terrified, but when I was older in the third grade we moved and the town pool was right across the street. I learned how to swim on my own and lived at the pool.
In the winter I would swim at the Y and there I learned all the different strokes. My dad had a boat and we thought nothing of jumping in the Hudson River and swimming.
Not so big on swimming any more though.