Our summer vacation in Southern France is over but our daily life continues to radiate freedom to learn and explore at our own pace. Swimming was one of those things the kids learned on their own, by frequenting pools and beaches, local and remote. Neither of them has ever taken swimming lessons or worked towards a swimming diploma (the latter so customary in The Netherlands). We just went along with what they enjoyed. Neva used to be afraid of water, so I used to go with Simon alone. It wasn’t until years later that she decided to join us. During the pandemic, our regular pool sessions have always provided for the necessary active breaks in our otherwise very digital routine.
Both of my kids are the indoors type. I’ll even let you in on a little secret: they both pretty much hate the beach and the sea. I know, I’m still getting over this, a passionate ocean freak myself. So I guess the trick has been no coercion, as is the trick in all learning. Although I have certainly cried several times about them not wanting to go to the beach with me, so I’m still learning to be non-coercive about that and I probably suck at it, as Simon and Neva would say. They do like pools, as long as our visits are short and not overly frequent and as long as the pool attendants are relaxed and the other people attending don’t do anything gross like spitting in the water. This year, they have really taken diving to a whole new level.
Below are a few more tints of the summer of ’21: