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News and views from the German-language region of Europe

August 21, 2005

Goggling to success

Filed under Family

No, that’s not a typo. It isn’t supposed to say "google" – the reference is to "goggles", as in the kind you wear when you go swimming. They saved the day for grandson Sean.

Opa (that’s me, German for "grandpa") was there sean on diving board the day grandson Sean had his first swimming lesson last May. It was a beautiful spring day, at least until Sean got into the water. Then he cried for the entire 15 minutes of the lesson. Of the ten children or so in his group he and another little girl seemed to be vying for the crown of being most miserable.

And so it went for most of the next two weeks. In the meantime I was back in Germany and got frequent updates from Sean via telephone. "Sean, did you cry at your swimming lesson today?" "Yeah, Opa, and tomorrow I will cry again," Sean would answer in a very matter-of-fact voice. Then Sean had a break for a few days, and the 2nd round of swimming lessons began – daily lessons for another two weeks.

This, time, though, Mom had an idea. sean on diving boardShe got some swimming goggles for Sean so he could open his eyes under water and not have the water get into his eyes. All of a sudden swimming was fun, and during his lesson Sean didn’t mind being in the water or putting his head under water. Then came the big day when he was allowed to go onto the side of the pool for the "big boys" (Sean’s viewpoint) and jump from the 3 foot diving board. He wasn’t allowed to wear his goggles for that, but it didn’t matter. After eyeing the length of the board and gathering some courage, Sean was off! Way ahead of me when I was 4 years old – it was a couple years more before I jumped off a diving board in the deep end of the pool. Attaboy Sean, keep on goggling! :-)

Paul Kieffer's blog with personal insights and news from the German-language region in Europe.


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