You may think the title indicates Erik, who headed back on a ship tomorrow morning, but it is actually Elliot's rank.... in swimming lessons! He has been taking swimming lessons this week at the YMCA. I don't have any pictures of it because I have to hide inside and watch through a window so that he doesn't cry for me, but maybe I will be able to get some tomorrow. Monday he cried/screamed in anger the whole way through the class. Tuesday not as much, but clung to the teacher the whole time. Wednesday threw a little fit when I dropped him off, then clung to the "skipper stand" the whole time. Today was the first day that he didn't cry when I left him with the class. He was actually having a great time jumping around and bouncing on the skipper stand with the other kids, and I was so proud of him. He even participated in jumping off the side into the water! Then, toward the end of class he was having so much fun that he lost his grip on the skipper stand and I could see him floating face down in the water for a few horrifying seconds (which seemed like hours) while I ran to the door. But by the time I reached the door, they had him out and his teacher was holding him. I resisted the urge to go over and pick him up, knowing that it would be better to let him get over it so he could end class on a positive note. He ended up having a great time for the rest of the class, and tomorrow is the last day of week one. I am so proud of my little skipper. As for Erik, he has been in Long Beach for a week and a half, but is getting on a ship tomorrow morning with a new company, Horizon Shipping Lines. He will be able to stay on roughly as long as he wants, depending on the route. It could be a far east run, or could be a Hawaii run (let's hope for that!). And it is a rotary job, meaning that if he likes it, he can keep working on the same ship off and on for up to two years. We are so glad that he is able to use his Electrician qualifications that he worked so hard for last fall. I am very proud of him, too. So far, Elliot is doing just fine - missing his dad, but doing fine. He seems to understand that dad is gone for a while, and doesn't ask where he is. He likes to talk to him on the phone, and tells people that his dad is on a boat, and he's gonna fix the boat. What a trooper!
I will give another update with pictures soon!