Friday, December 14, 2007

Swim School

Last night I took Crystel and Antonio to their weekly swimming lessons at Foss, a great swim school they've been going to since they were two or three. Driving there was a riot of improvised Christmas songs akin to a poetry slam.
We were early enough to have 15 minutes in the waiting room where we read two books while keeping half an eye on the Tom & Jerry cartoons playing. Reading and watching cartoons seemed incongruous until I remembered talking and watching football with Ann's dad at Thanksgiving - everything stops when there's a good play, whether it's a punt return or a launched cat, then after a comment on the play you go back to what you were doing. Crystel had determined, brooking no argument, that she was the mouse and I was the cat. When the cat was shot up into the sky she interrupted the reading briefly with "look what's happening to you!", then went back to the book. Antonio said he was the very active crab on the beach.

They're in separate classes so they went to their own lanes and met their teachers and two or three other students, and worked non-stop for half an hour. They've been working on the crawl strokes and now they're integrating breathing into them. They work on everything from back stroke to breast stroke to diving to the bottom of the pool. Crystel can casually swim to the 9’ deep bottom of her pool at home and can swim the length of it underwater, so grabbing rings from the bottom of a 3 foot pool is fun but not much of a challenge.

Both kids pay attention to their teachers. Antonio was a little fidgety when he first started the class years ago - a normal enough state - but soon after he started Tae Kwon Do training we noticed a profoundly changed and respectful attitude towards his instructor.

On the drive home I took my normal freeway without thinking and almost brought the kids to our house. Antonio pointed out some American flags, which Crystel subsequently referred to as "Mall of America Flags," which had Antonio slapping his forehead with mixed amusement and exasperation. Both kids sent me home with heartfelt statements of their love for Ann.

I'd never taken pictures at Foss before because of condensation worries for my camera, but I kept the camera warm and had no problems, and finally got some shots. Lighting, motion and reflections were wild cards, but some of the pictures turned out nicely.

Starting in January they'll be going to a Foss location closer to our home and theirs - all the better.


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