Thursday, October 22, 2009

Just keep swimming, just keep swimming...

But first, the day was just too gorgeous, so we went for a picnic at a new park we discovered. We had a great time except for the bees that kept wanting to share our lunch, but no one was stung. Gordon loves the water. There are only 3 in the class, and the one little girl next to him there is repeating from the previous session so she is more advanced.
Learning to float...but not wanting to get water in his ears.
kicking, while making sure he holds his entire head out of the water
waiting his turn again
sort of a jump...making sure not to splash his face
talking...what he does best
can he stop talking long enough to learn how to blow bubbles? This would also require getting his face in the water...
but my stubborn boy figured out a way to do it without actually getting his face in there...

Wait, is it, I think it is! I think his face is getting wet!And more talking.
Come on, jump! He did jump a couple of times, but the 2nd time he bumped his rear end on the side of the pool and that was the end of that. Now he will only half jump/half slip into the water - making incredible efforts to keep from splashing water in his face.
Swimming and talking just don't go real well together. But overall he's doing great at the lessons, if we could just get him to feel confident jumping in again. And not being worried about getting water in his ears or eyes. Maybe we'll try goggles soon. I know the chlorine content of the pool is extremely high, my eyes start burning as soon as we walk into the pool area.
Now for the really exciting part of our first swim lesson. When we arrived it was sunny and cool and beautiful, and nothing was forecast to change. As you can sort of see in the pictures, the doors to the pool were open to outside and it was sunny the whole lesson. Gordon and I went back into a room that is separate from the men's and women's locker rooms - for "family use". It was the first time I was in this room, it is just a long corridor with a couple of handicap bathrooms, a door to the pool area at one end and a door leading to the interior of the club at the other. While I was trying to peel wet swim trunks off of Gordon someone came and slammed the door to the pool area shut and as he did he said "we have to shut this when it rains". I didn't have time to say anything but thought...what rain? Then as I got Gordon dressed we heard a very loud roar - and my immediate thought was to look at the walls - cinder block - that is good, but I also thought - it can't be a tornado, it is sunny out! But then suddenly the room went black. So black I could not see the hand in front of my face, no emergency lights, no reflectors, no sunlight, just pitch black. Gordon said "Mommy?" I tried to open the door that man had just shut and it was locked. I banged on it. Nothing. So I just held on to Gordon and felt around for his clothes and bag and my purse in the dark, when I thought we had everything I held onto him and just walked with my other hand on one wall to feel our way to the other side where there was another door. We made it down there and thankfully it wasn't locked, and there was just enough light to make out other people - but not even enough to see their faces. The roar had stopped but you could now hear heavy rain. It was surreal it happened so quickly. One woman and I started talking. She had been in the workout room and it was full of people running on treadmills and climbers - when the power was knocked out it was instantly and the machines just stopped, a couple of people fell but were not seriously hurt. That room has floor to ceiling windows facing the parking area and she said that people were shouting "tornado" and saw a funnel cloud. We stood in the dark while more people kept pouring in from classrooms. Finally we walked to the front (which is all glass) and it was very eery looking outside, that greenish metallic look to the clouds that were rolling by in the sky. The rain was slowing down some, so I decided to go. It took us so long to get home because all of the traffic lights were flashing and it was 5 pm, a huge mess. And even worse, the downed trees - there were big branches all over the roads. The news showed a couple of houses on the same street where we had our swim lessons - two were crushed by several large pine trees that were uprooted and blown down, thankfully in both cases the people were not home or injured. Our street was full of branches, and one enormous old tree was across the road - but thankfully there are two other ways to get through the neighborhood so no one was stuck, and it was just amazing that the tree fell the way it did, it was right on a curved part of a road with houses so close together - it fell in the only direction that kept it from hitting a house. It was a close call for sure for everyone. It appears the funnel cloud just touched trees and did not actually hit ground. Here is just a picture of the stormy sky I took from Battleground Ave. Here is one taken the next day of the top half of the tree in our neighborhood - I wish I had gotten the nearby house in the picture for perspective or a picture of the bottom portion which was really enormous, the root "crater" was big enough to put a car into it.
A lot to be grateful for and something to always remember about our first swim lesson!