Archive for November 20th, 2007

National Child Day – Right to be Active

Tuesday, November 20th, 2007

It’s National Child Day here in Canada and I have to admit that when I first read the announcement, I snorted and thought “isn’t it always?” When I visited the official National Child Day site, though, and read that this year’s theme is the Right to be Active, and that it marks the anniversary of the adoption by the United Nations of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, I realized that while it might seem to be National Child Day every day in my house, it certainly isn’t for all children in the world, nor even in Canada.

It being Tuesday, we will be taking Reid to her gymnastics class tonight where she’ll tumble and run and balance with a few other children in a safe, well-lit gym in her body suit and skirt that I bought just because she looks cute in them and not because she was cold or because they were in the box at a shelter where we were staying. Come Thursday, we’ll be in the pool and Reid will be learning to swim. When we’re done, I promise not to complain about putting clothes on my damp body because I am lucky that I can share the experience with my daughter. These activities that Reid takes part in are over and above the 2-plus hours she is outside playing at daycare (weather permitting).

I feel so fortunate that Reid is able to exercise her right to be active on a daily basis. I asked the Google how I could help other kids who aren’t so fortunate and came up with Right to Play, KidSport Ontario, KidSport BC and Power of Sports for Kids. Does anyone else know of other charities that focus on physical activities and sports equipment?

Solo swimming lesson? I’ll ask Reid

Tuesday, November 20th, 2007

At the end of last week’s swimming lesson, the teacher said that Reid was ready for Preschool A, a class where the kids go with the teacher while the parents watch. I had already signed up for another session of Parent and Tots 3 but thought I’d leave the decision up to Reid. Well, at first, I’d said that we’d already signed up for the other and thought we’d stick with it for 6 more weeks but when yesterday was cold and grey and I was thinking of how I hate putting my work clothes back on after we’re done swimming and going out wet into the night, I reconsidered. When I got to daycare, I told Reid that M, her last teacher, had said she was good enough to go in the pool without me. Reid didn’t appear to be tempted or even flattered. I believe she said something like, “I don’t wanna” without hesitation. I made a pitch about Reid being big, like Melissa’s kids who swim with their teachers while Melissa watches. I also told Reid that it would be just like at gymnastics where she goes with the teacher while we watch. The added details didn’t persuade Reid. She asked why C, a little boy in gymnastics, has his mother accompany him, and I said that I thought he was a bit younger than Reid or maybe he just wanted his mama to be with him a little longer. I didn’t want Reid to feel shame about wanting me to go into the pool with her, as much as I didn’t want to go into the pool.

When we walked out of the change room, both of us in our swimsuits, Melissa grinned and noted that we would both be swimming. Yep, we did and I loved Reid’s warm little body snuggling close in the water, seeing her grin of pride upclose when she completes a task she is uncertain of, like jumping from the wall, and being in the water. I even survived pulling my work clothes back on.

When I sent this story out as an email, my soon-to-be nephew – the one who teaches swimming lessons – wrote to suggest that I ask if I could shadow Reid in the Preschool A class when she first starts it. A good idea, I thought, why didn’t I think to ask his opinion first?