Today, Nia blew me away.
I know, sometimes it gets old reading blogs and Facebook posts from parents who are "so proud" of their children for their various persuits and for the most part, I've resisted gushing in this way (online, at least).
But I have to tell you, today Nia really made me proud.
Here's the thing: Nia had her first swimming lesson today without me in the water. I know, lots of kids are already doing this. But see, my kid wasn't. We just completed a two-month series of "Mommy & Me" type swimming lessons, which was our first ever experience with formal lessons. In this class, there were many kid-parent couples and one teacher, a man. For the most part, every time the teacher would come over to Nia and I, she would turn away from him and try to climb me to get away from him. She did not like to be touched by him and would pretend he wasn't there when he cheerfuly said, "Nia! Show me your bubbles!" Sometimes instead of ignoring him, she'd reply, "No thank you."
Meanwhile, babies in this same class would be dunking under water and going easily to the teacher's arms. Had we missed the swimming lessons window?
In retrospect, this Mommy & Me swimming class did a lot for Nia's confidence in the water. We had a lot of fun in the water together, too. But mostly it seemed we were just playing and avoiding the teacher.
So, when Jackson's dad, Jeremy, told me he was signing Jackson up for the next level of classes (without parents), I knew I wanted Nia to do it, but was also scared to death. Would she cry? Would she try to climb out of the pool? Would she look at me with shock and betrayal as I passed her off to the teacher?
When the teacher -- this time a woman -- called Nia's name to signal the start of class, Nia was eager and excited. She sat on the steps with Jackson and introduced herself to the teacher. And from then on, each time the teacher asked for a volunteer to go first, Nia was ready with a loud, "I will!"
She held her breath and went under the water. She put her face in the water and kicked. She jumped off the side of the pool and went completely under.
All amazing feats. Seriously.
I sat on the side of the pool with a big, fat grin on my face. That's my girl!
I think we both did some growing up today.
Nia on "swimming lessons" later at home: