Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Swim to Me

In June I signed Melese up for swim lessons. Knowing that we were headed up to my parents' house for a vacation, I wanted him to at least feel a little more comfortable in the water. Last summer he was held prisoner by a life jacket.

Conrad Cooper-Magician.
 Many friends had recommended Conrad Cooper to me. Last year we were not ready. I wouldn't have been able to sit still while Melese fell apart in a pool with a stranger. This year, I felt that we could handle it, so I signed him up. I figured that if it was too much, we could stop.  There were ten kids in Melese's class. The first day (of five days total-one hour per day) EVERY child cried. At the end of the first day, one child was so distraught that she passed out in the water. Conrad had to perform CPR on her and the paramedics had to come. Conrad saved her life. She was fine. Melese, who was already scared to go to swim lessons, was shielded from this incident by my strategically placed towel. Had he seen it unfold, I am positive I wouldn't have been able to bring him back for day two.

Day two wasn't much better. Melese cried and wouldn't get into the pool. Conrad talked to him and eventually got him in.

By day four Melese was jumping into the deep end and swimming the length of the pool UNDERWATER. I was panicked that he would never come up for air. Conrad assured that he would when he needed too. My son was a swimmer. Just like that.


video


It is hard for me to describe how profound it was to watch this process, not just Melese's transformation, but the transformation of all of these brave kiddos. Every kid was swimming by Friday. Every. Single. Kid.



I cried. They were so small and brave. They were so scared. Conrad was amazing. He would calmly speak to them, and then they would swim.


If you live in California and your child doesn't know how to swim yet, I highly recommend that you give Conrad a call. Prepare to be amazed.



6 comments:

  1. And she's on a roll. Keep writing!

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  2. Awesome, thanks! I just emailed him for Z.

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  3. that is truly amazing. i would have bawled my head off. i wish i could send one of my kiddos...

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  4. Having seen pictures of and having read about Melese (and Meazi) over the years that they have been home, I am always moved by each struggle and accomplishment. But, oh my goodness, Melese's work with Conrad Cooper! Yes, amazing!

    Peace, family.

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  5. My comment disappeared, but the gist of it was seconding the amazement previous commenters felt when experiencing your experience (as I say when talking about the power of writing with my composition students) of watching Melese learn to swim. I have delighted in both kiddos' achievements and thought about what I would do when my own struggled. Melese's work with Conrad Cooper was a beauty to behold!

    Peace, family.

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  6. I love Conrad's and Melese's faces, so intent. And their hair, dripping, perfection!

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