I wish I had bought my daughter prescription goggles years ago.
She’s far-sighted and has worn glasses since she was two years old.
Know what else she’s done since she was two years old?
She’s taken swimming lessons since she was two years old.
But I kept asking myself…
She was so hesitant in the water, always so cautious. She wasn’t afraid of the water – she wasn’t even afraid of anything to do with the water.
Over the years during swim lessons I’d had to remind the swim teachers to use swim toys that contrasted with the color of the water.
Me: Hey, Swim Teacher, my daughter is realllly far-sighted, so if you want her to swim towards a floating duck toy today, use like, a bright pink duck, so she can aim for the pink blob. The blue duck just becomes a fuzzy blue blob in a sea of other fuzzy blue blobs.
Swim Teacher: Sure. (Ten minute later…proceeds to use blue duck. Again.)
I’d mentioned prescription goggles to her eye doctor before, because she’s supposed to wear glasses during all waking hours, but he’d said it was medically fine for her to go without her glasses for the brief time it takes to go for a swim. She never protested taking off her glasses or acted like it was a big deal to swim without them, but I could tell that she couldn’t see very well while swimming.
I gave up on swimming lessons for a while and I and various family members worked with making her more confident in developing swimming skills. It was ok, but I’m terrible at teaching swimming. Swimming is just something that I could always do. I never needed to learn it. To me, swim lessons are sort of bizarre…I mean you don’t give kids walking lessons, right? Unless they have special needs, of course. But with normal development, all kids just sort of learn to walk by walking. But, I grew up in a place where there was swimming year-round, and lots of opportunity to play in water. Everyone could swim. I took swimming lessons but it was to learn actual swim strokes and breath control during swim races…not to learn how to float or dog paddle.
The cost of swim lessons in my area is prohibitively expensive. It would be fine if my daughter would have just hurry up and learned how to swim, but years of lessons really add up.
I happened upon a homeschool swim program in my area with heavily discounted costs. I quickly signed up all three of my kids, and the program turned out to be very good – actually much better than the expensive lessons. My daughter continued to take weekly swimming lessons for a year, but she still couldn’t swim. Over the summer I worked with her a lot and she finally became able to swim a few feet, basically enough to save herself if she fell in the deep end of the pool.
However, she continued to panic in deep water when she was not next to me. Her behavior was puzzling. I’d take her to the deep end with me. She’d push off of me and start swimming to the side. She’d often get almost to the edge of the pool, then turn around and call for me frantically, sinking while she called out. I kept asking her why she would stop when she was so close to the edge of the pool…why turn around when the edge of the pool is so close and I was much farther away?
I had considered prescription goggles for her before, but they were hundreds of dollars, and they don’t come in an exact prescription anyway. I was a little afraid of messing up her vision with a prescription that was not exact, especially when she was so little that she couldn’t really be expected to tell me whether a prescription felt “right” or not. I thought I would wait until she was older and could swim better.
Then, we spent three days at Great Wolf Lodge. Three days in the water, all day. Three days without glasses for her was enough for me to look into prescription glasses again for her. Somehow, I stumbled upon prescription goggles on Amazon for under 20 bucks…I took a chance. This was what I ordered: Optical Swim Goggles . I think you could get any goggles, but this pair doesn’t leak for my daughter and she says she can see out of them well.
The prescription goggles made a HUGE difference! If I had known how much of a difference they would make I would have paid hundreds for prescription goggles years ago!
My hesitant swimmer went to her lesson and became bold and fearless. She was swimming around as fast as she could!
I figured out why she had been so hesitant about swimming…all that time, she just couldn’t really see where she was going very well. Once she had prescription goggles and could see well, she took off without fear. This was a major facepalm moment for me as a mom…why did I wait so long? If I had it to do over again I wouldn’t wait until my child was swimming to buy prescription goggles – I would buy prescription goggles as soon as she was big enough for them to fit her face without leaks.