There was a news story a few years back about an averted tragedy in San Francisco. A man saw his 2-year-old daughter fall through the rails at a pier, into the bay water. He stood shocked at first, then began calling for help. A nearby DHL deliveryman saw what was happening, and jumped into the chilly seawater to rescue the girl. Thanks to his heroism, she was fine.
I believe firmly in swim lessons from a young age as a matter of water safety. But not because I think the 2-year-old could have saved herself. Because the father, who never learned to swim, stood helplessly on the pier as he watched his daughter drown. Clearly his fear of water was powerful, as few parents can watch their children die without taking action. He knew he couldn't rescue her. That's the person I don't ever want my children to become.
Swim lessons were fun with the boys when they were babies (Katrina was never fun in swim lessons), but now the boys are old enough that knowing how to swim is a matter of safety and confidence and lifetime competence. Not to mention that I love water sports and water things, so I have future Hawaii trips in mind!
And thanks to our completed (where the term "complete" must be calibrated in the context of "remodel") house, I can now do this with them. So I signed the boys up for swim lessons today, starting in 2 weeks! The logistics will become a drag, I'm sure, but I'm happy to be doing something important and fun as a mom again, even though I'll sit on the sidelines and watch.
And finally being able to do some sort of regularly scheduled activity with my children again is downright uplifting. I think this is saving my life more than theirs!