Monday, August 27, 2012

Taking the Plunge

Our son missed his swim lesson earlier in the week due to our visit with Kai’s grandparents, so he had a make-up session over the weekend. His instructor had us bring him to the house of one of his other students as they have a swimming pool.

When I later went to pick him up, Kai and the other boy were happily doing laps. They were enjoying swimming, as well as each other’s company.

The instructor, James, asked if I was in a hurry to take Kai home. He said that if we had time, he wanted Kai to try jumping off the diving board for the first time. I told him that I would love to see that.

Kai overheard us, and immediately was anxious.

“I don’t want to go on the diving board!”

“Dad, take me home now!”

I stepped back and let James handle this.

He instructed Kai to swim another lap, and then had him watch the other boy do it first. He said that Lee was scared the first time, too, but now he loves it.

Lee went off the board with no hesitation. And then it was Kai’s turn.

He was really scared.

James told him that he could first jump in from the edge of the pool. Kai is used to doing that at the place where he has his regular lessons, but this pool was eight feet deep compared to only five feet at his usual one.

After much hesitation, and a lot of instruction and encouragement from James, Kai jumped in. James pointed out how he floated back up.

Now it was time to go off the board.

It was not a high board. It was only about a foot off the ground. But I can understand how the thought of walking the plank would make Kai nervous the first time.

Kai stepped up on the board, but said he was scared. James came over and held his arm out for Kai to hold on to as he walked further out on the board. Kai was very tentative. But he slowly walked out, while holding on to James’ arm.

And then he jumped in.

He quickly surfaced and swam to the other end. Lee went over to give him a high five.

Kai had a huge smile on his face and asked how many more he could do.

He walked over to the board and did not hesitate as he leaped out over the water.

And then he did it a third time, this time with James nowhere near the board. And after that, he wanted to do it again, but it was getting late, so we had to force him to leave.

One day, Kai will dive head first into the water. But on this day that was not the objective.

My son had conquered another fear, with much help from James. And that was something to see.


  1. James sure is good, as my Sasha would say :) are you sure you can't send him over to the UK for a bit?!

    1. Ha! If he could clone himself, I'm sure he'd love to go over to the UK. We sure do value him here, though. :)

  2. Perfect. Done in increments...people can do almost anything. Kai trusted his instructor...which also says a lot about him. Well done all around.

    1. Yes, he really trusts James. He will do things for James that he would not do for anyone else. And you are right, the incremental approach really does work.

  3. WOW
    Just WOW
    Loved pictures of your guy as well
    Has he always been this comfy in water

    1. K, before we found James, with other swim instructors, Kai was really afraid of putting his head in the water. But, since James has been teaching him (for about 2 years now), Kai is very comfortable in the water... actually more than comfortable, he really loves going in the water. The change is really remarkable!


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