Kiley, August 2012

When we started lessons with you, my husband and I knew that Anna would not be one of the 99.9% of your students that are swimming after 4 lessons.  She was afraid of the water and would frequently cry in the shower when we had to wash her hair.  She was both excited and terrified about beginning swim lessons.  The first lesson didn’t go so well.    We arrived the next day with some trepidation . . .  I think it was this lesson that Anna started humming to hold her breath and put her face in the water.  She loved looking at your shells and scooping things up out of the water.  She still felt nervous and fearful, but really enjoyed the lesson and looked forward to the next one. I was so relieved.  By the end of her fourth lesson, she would readily put her face in the water and would ask each night to practice in the bathtub.  We signed up for one more week of 4 sessions.  She still felt a little nervous each time, but really looked forward to swimming and felt more comfortable each day.  In her 7th session, she floated independently in the big pool and I very nearly cried.  I tear up every time I think about it.  At her last session today, she could float face down for 10 seconds, kick some of the way across the pool, and had started making some arm movements.  She also loves to scoop things out from under the water.  Perhaps it wouldn’t seem like much to other people, but we are thrilled.  Anna and I both left today feeling so triumphant.  You reminded her today about how she was afraid to get water on her face at her first lesson, and she feels SO PROUD of herself.  I am so glad that she enjoys the water, but I am even more happy that she learned to overcome her fears and feels so much self-confidence.  Thank you so much, John, for your creativity and patience in working with Anna.  I know it was your connection with her that helped her feel safe and secure in the water.  She really, really liked you and would often repeat things you had said to her.  She loved your jokes!  She feels like she made a friend and has reminded me many times that she plans to return for more swim lessons next summer or when her little brother is ready for lessons.  Thank you so much for your dedication in giving Anna the individualized instruction she needed.  We appreciate it!

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