(written by Bettina, posted by Catherine)
A while ago, I blogged about how the pandemic had affected not just my swimming habits, but also the great plans I had for my child’s early contact with water. More than two years of COVID-related disruptions mean that there are now huge waiting lists for swimming lessons at any age, and many baby swimming classes that took place at small school or hospital pools are still not taking place.
In July, I managed to snag a spot for the small human in a toddler swimming class on Sunday mornings. The class would start in mid-September. I was elated. I managed to get him in because I was actually awake during our holidays when the email came in early in the morning; five minutes later all spots had been filled. My son loves the water. It’s been a very hot summer and he’s been in the paddling pool a lot. He loves baths (most days). He loves going to the pool with mama. But I want him to learn proper water skills and I feel like it’s better for both of us if he’s taught by… not me. I was so, so excited for that spot and couldn’t wait to start. Big win!
Today, I heard the rumour that due to the energy crisis following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the pools are going to be closed in the autumn and winter. AGAIN. I’m completely deflated. Not only will my lifesaving team not be able to train if they decide to also close the small school pool we use for practice, but again, countless kids including my own will be left without the chance to learn how to swim or learn valuable water skills. This is awful.
I get that this is very much a first-world problem. But I know how good swimming is for my mental health, and I love watching my child having fun in the water. I get the need to save energy, I really do. But does it really have to be the pools again, after two seasons of pandemic-related closures? I just can’t anymore.