When we decided to rebuild our back deck and add a spa, we figured that we’d all enjoy a hot soak and that the baby would get more comfortable around water, but we never expected that our 5yo G- would learn how to swim because of it.
As recently as two months ago, when the spa was installed, he hated to get his face wet and when we were all in a pool he’d paddle around and enjoy himself, but never put his head under water. We couldn’t even convince him to blow bubbles, a basic step along the way to swimming.
We weren’t particularly worried about it as he’s only five and A-, our nine year old, swims like a fish, jumps off diving boards and is quite comfortable leaping off docks and diving platforms into lakes. Definitely no problem with getting her in the water.
But a funny thing happened with the spa. G- started to experiment with getting his face wet and even dunking his entire head under water for a few seconds at a time. Nothing dramatic and we, frankly, didn’t even encourage it particularly. He just played.
Then one day he was shoving his head under water and showing everyone how he could hold his breath.
A week or so later he was doing somersaults in the water, with his head and body completely immersed. And popping up laughing.
We finally went back to a big pool – Glenwood Hotsprings (one of the largest pools in the world, actually, over 400 feet by 100 feet, all fed by natural springs. A wonderful pool, and the 100×100 103F hot springs spa is wonderful) – and watched in amazement as our boy swam, sunk to the bottom, retrieved toys that we threw for him, and generally swam as well as any other child in the pool.
Elapsed time: two months.
And it’s all because of the spa. Fabulous outcome, and completely unexpected.
And, yes, it’s a nice soak too. 🙂