I overheard two moms talking during Zoe’s swimming lesson the other day.

“Is your son in the advanced class?”

“Oh yes, he’s a swimming prodigy. He only took the beginner class four or five times before he made it to the advanced class.”

“Oh it took my son at least four or five times before he got out of the beginner class.”

They dissolved into laughter.

I thought, “oh no, we’re going to have to do this three or four more times?”

But I looked down and saw Zoe smiling from the edge of the pool, looking up at me and waving excitedly every five minutes. Every time we go to the pool for a lesson she is ecstatic. When I come down to the pool at the end and wrap her in a towel, she is cold but thrilled. “Did you see me? I jumped into the pool and got my whole body and my whole head wet! I wasn’t scared and I didn’t even cry!” I am so proud of her for being brave. I am so happy she is having fun. My husband and I both were very late bloomers when it came to swimming. At three (almost four, really) Zoe is, if not the youngest in her class, one of the youngest. There are two sisters who are four and five years old whose mom told me had taken the class once before and a parent and child class before that. They are just that much more confident in the water. And Zoe is getting there day by day. Today when it was her turn she held on to the floaty things exclusively instead of always trying to use the instructor’s arm for support. So that’s something.

When we got to class today we saw kids from an earlier class, who looked like they were seven or eight or nine years old, swimming totally independently. I got tears in my eyes. At that age I was still standing fearfully at the edge of the pool. So what if it takes Zoe four more sessions of beginner before she gets to that point. She is having so much fun and she’s not scared and that is half the battle.