Wilson is a strong swimmer, almost better than his big sister. Tom and I have been wanting him to take the swim test to earn his green necklace before the summer ended. If he didn’t take it now, he would have to relearn some of his skills at the beginning of next year. Today we promised Wilson ice cream if he took the test. He practiced his treading water for a few minutes in order to prepare. He actually started singing while treading water, almost as if he were mocking the skill. He had it in the bag!
Now this is where the story really begins to show Wilson’s personality and age. He is such an enigma to me sometimes. He didn’t want to take the test until the life guard said that Tom could swim next to him. Then he jumped into the water without a thought and was ready to go. He swam across the pool and even tried to do the correct stroke with his arms. He rested a bit and then treaded water for the full minute. He even kept his ears above the water for part of the time, which is difficult. The lifeguard pronounced that he passed and we all cheered. Wilson smiled while we congratulated him but he quickly started to cry because he didn’t want to give back his yellow necklace in exchange for the new green one. Thankfully the lifeguard was very kind and said that he could wear both. I took a picture of wilson with his new necklace and he looked like this….
He remained grumpy for the next thirty minutes of the pool time. Tom tried to get wilson to go down the slides at the pool, which are not tall nor are they fast, but he wouldn’t do it. He cried the whole time. It is so baffling to me that he can be strong and brave yet also cry and be afraid of a simple little slide. We did finally realize that his fear came from the super fast slide that he went down at the other YMCA a few weeks ago. In the end, he finally jumped in the pool and played right before we left.
I have learned over the last year that wilson will not do anything until he is mentally ready, even though he is clearly physically ready. He could ride a two wheeled bike when he was three years old, but only did it once and then wouldn’t try again until a year later. He could have passed the swim test a month ago but didn’t want to, and even today we had to bribe him to do it. I honestly can’t complain, I have a four year old riding a two wheeler and passing the green necklace swim test. Those are great accomplishments. I just need to remember that inside that tough exterior is a little four year old boy who has little four year old fears.
I am proud of Wilson and his green necklace. In the end, he was proud too. I told him how excited Grandma and DaDa would be to hear the news. He called them to tell of his great feat which cheered him up. The ice cream didn’t hurt either. :).
Here he is during ice cream…