What a 10 Cent Ribbon Meant to a Boy

Swim lessons every week for the past eight months has had its ups and downs for my four-year old. He has had a huge fear of putting his head under water. Every Friday he breaks down and sometimes cries, pleading not to go and saying that he “hates swim.”

I validate his feelings, offer my support and remind him that learning to swim is necessary. The drowning statistics are outrageous and I will do everything in my power to prevent it. Plus I want him to enjoy the water with his friends and family.

Today was a HUGE day!

When we got to swim he saw his buddy there with a ribbon. Dilan has had a really hard time in swim as well and after a very long 18 months has finally moved up to Level 1. Whoo Hoo, Go Dilan! He was so proud of his ribbon and Gavin was eager to get one too.

During class, I saw his instructor reading over a sheet and testing him on different skills. I was cheering him on behind the two-way mirror.

Thirty minutes flew by and Gavin was moved up to not just level 1 but level 2. Which meant two ribbons!

He stood on his platform, rang the bell and everyone cheered him on!


The whole drive home he kept saying, “Are you proud of me, mom?” Oh yeah, I was!

His excitement didn’t end there. He wanted to hang his ribbons on the back of his jeep and ride around in the neighborhood telling everyone of his accomplishment.


His parade continued through our neighborhood reaching the train station a few blocks away. He knew there would be a lot of people coming home from work so he made his way there. He spoke to every person walking by, “And you know, I’m in level two, now” Some smiled and joined in his excitement, congratulating him and admiring his ribbons. Others who ignored him and carried on missed out on what life is all about, the pure joy of a child. He didn’t let it bug him and just found others to tell, even the neighborhood cats.

 I love this little boy!


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