Everyone should know how to swim. It's as important as knowing how to cross the street safely, and even more important than learning how to ride a bike.
Every kid should experience the thrill of jumping into a cool river, lake, or pool and be able to confidently enjoy the fun. In fact, I feel so strongly about swimming that
My Dad Law #11 is: Teach Your Kids How To Swim.
It's one of the most important things you can do as a parent.
We are definitely a "Water Family." I was lucky enough to grow up on a beautiful inland Oakland County lake and loved every minute of every summer. Swimming, Tubing and Skiing certainly are more fun when you aren't afraid of the water. I took my love for the water to an extreme and made it "My Sport" by swimming competitively up through high school. As a standing bet, $100 Cash goes to the first of my kids that can beat their old man across the pool!
We now live on Wolverine Lake and I absolutely know how lucky I am to raise my family on the water. My children are all good swimmers and I don't worry too much about them, but my wife struggles with it since she really never took great lessons as a kid.
I used to hear some complaining..."why do we have to learn how to swim?" but I think they are actually grateful for the experience.
I was reminded this past weekend that as a parent one must always stay vigilant around the water, no matter what the situation. A simple Little League End of Season Picnic could have taken a tragic turn when one of my son's teammates started to struggle on a swim out to the raft with his buddies.
My "Lifeguard Dad" instincts kicked in and I helped the boy safely back to shore.
No big thing, but I hate the thought of what could have happened had I not been in the lake with those kids.
(Just another not-so-subtle reminder that I'm glad I'm sober!)
Enjoy the summer and the water, but never ever let your guard down.
Man, I really need to start swimming some laps again...
Kurt Schwarz is a happily married man with three awesome children, living and working in Oakland County, MI. His mid-life crisis brought weight-loss, sobriety, and the constant pursuit of happiness by pretending to be a rock star. Now in his late forties, he has decided to become a better person by improving every aspect of his life.
He blogs about Family, Fatherhood, and Fantastic Music Topics.
He strongly believes that real men can be great husbands and fathers yet retain their "coolness," although his kids may not always agree.