This one was a long time waiting. Though I suppose not nearly as long as him getting his A diploma. But today, Liam crushed it and got his B diploma. And it was a surprise to us all, but not for the reasons you might think.
I had asked his swim instructor weeks and weeks ago if she thought he might be able to take the exam before the summer holidays. I believed that it would be a huge boost for his confidence in addition to not having to back track after 6 weeks off for the summer break. She thought it would be possible and he started working on his techniques in jeans, a long sleeve tee and sneakers. He was slow at first…really slow. But slow and steady wins the race.
Unfortunately, our instructor wasn’t going to be around this past week due to a personal commitment and 2 weeks before had been out sick. So our hopes for Liam to get his diploma by what we figured was the end of his time with her (July 6) was highly unlikely. I asked the director if we could add in a few extra private lessons (he was doing both group and private lessons) to give him a boost. It took her a week, a precious week, to get back to me. Again, I figured too late. And at that point, I had figured we would just start up again in September and if it took him a bit to catch back up, it took him a bit – not the end of the world.
When I saw his instructor on the 6th, we said our goodbyes for the summer and she said that he would have his group and private lesson with a sub the following week. We agreed we would tackle the B when we all got back from the break and hopefully he’d be ready within a few weeks. End of story.
Normally, Liam does not do well with a substitute. It’s just his personality. He is a creature of habit and does not fare well with change of any kind. So I didn’t have high expectations for the lesson. And since we had already agreed to finish up the B in the fall, I didn’t really care all that much.
So it came as a huge surprise when the sub said to me that he did extremely well in his lesson and much better than she expected. She had been told of his struggles and said that he did amazing. I told her I’d hoped for him to take the B before summer but it didn’t sound like he had been ready. She told me that, yes, he was actually ready.
Seriously?? Is this a communication issue? Is this an instructor issue? I love our instructor so I hope not. But regardless, I hopped on to this bandwagon and asked her the odds of Liam taking the exam before we leave for the US on Tuesday. She scheduled it for today, Friday.
And he rocked it! I was a little worried because once again, it was someone different, but he was somewhat familiar with her since she had been Aidan’s instructor. The B is no easy exam. Swimming several hundred meters in jeans, a long sleeve tee and sneakers is no easy task. Honestly, I would probably drown. And this is a child with Developmental Coordination Disorder – swimming is already a challenge before he’s even entered the pool, much less with the high expectations for these exams.
After the clothing portion, he still had to swim about 400 meters in his bathing suit, hold his breath and swim through a hole in a submerged mat (to represent swimming through ice) and tread water for a full minute, half of which was not using his arms, only his legs.
In a word… AMAZING. I just love this kid and his perseverance. Nothing is going to stop him…
Knuffels en kussen,