Hey Mama Hey! I know you have a full schedule. I know you are playing Uber driver to your kids. Chauffeuring them from one event to another. Mama I know. Buttttttt…… I want you to add one more class to your already busy schedule. I am actually insisting that you do so. (I know! Ish just got real)
That class is swim class. The reason I want you to add this class is simple: It’s a life skill. Not just another extra curricular, a necessary skill of life.
CONFESSION TIME: I don’t know how to swim. Nope. It’s sad and true. I am on the side of the pool, taking pictures and playing DJ. I will even get in the water, shallow end of course. I LOVE being in the pool. I LOVE boat season in SummertimeChi. All of this love is met with the sobering fact, I can’t swim.
Turns out I am not alone. Turns out 54% of Americans can’t swim and that number jumps to 66% when you are talking about the African American Community. This ends with our kids.
When I wanted to enroll ObieQ in swimming classes I was picky. There were a few points that topped my list
Heated Pool: We take classes in the winter, IN CHICAGO. There was no way I was getting in a pool that was not heated. I also thought this would help ObieQ get adjusted to the pool.
Diverse Staff: I wanted a staff that represented our village. I wanted instructors that I wouldn’t have to explain ObieQ’s hair to. Representation matters, yep even down to swim coaches.
Small Class Sizes: Did I mention I can’t swim? I needed a small class, just in case the teacher had to watch me and ObieQ! Just kidding…kinda.
I chose Goldfish Swim School-Wicker Park. It met all of my requests and had other perks that weren’t even on my radar. We started when Q was 18 months. Looking back we could have started even earlier. When you first start classes you get in the pool with your little one. Please get ready for the cutest 30 minutes of your life. There were about 5 of us in our class and my favorite part was we all cheered for each other’s kids. Mamas and Daddies in the pool, high fiving and singing nursery songs. On ObieQ’s first day he was underwater! I almost screamed. However that is Goldfish’s style of instruction. They are fun, consistent, but they are here to teach kids water safety and swimming from day one!
Fast forward to yesterday. ObieQ had his first Big Boy Class. ObieQ in the pool with his swim coach and NO MAMA!!!!!! I have been prepping him, and myself, for weeks. He handled it like a champ. No crying. No separation anxiety, What I was most impressed about was how quickly the swim coach, Elias, established a relationship. When he spoke and gave instructions, ObieQ sat and listened with full attention. He was patient and there was smiling the entire 30 minute class. Five minutes before the class ended all of the parents went to the lanes to have a 1:1 chat with their kid’s coach and see a little demo. The wrap up convo was perfect for this nervous Mama. After swimming ObieQ showered there, we put on his pajamas and he went to the play area to hang out.
ObieQ already has a confidence in the water I don’t posses. Learning to swim is going to make vacations so much fun for him, but, most importantly, gives him a skill he will use for the rest of his life.
I have partnered with Goldfish Swim School and I am happy to announce they are our gift bag sponsors for the Baby Soul Jam this Saturday. Send me an email or stop me at Baby Soul Jam if you have any questions. Visit the Goldfish Swim School website or, even better yet, visit them in person in Wicker Park. If you come on a Tuesday say Hey Mama Hey. You can find me right at the view window getting my Kris Jenner on and screaming “You’re doing amazing honey!”