Monday, August 20, 2012

Swimming Lessons and the Spray Park

 I love watching my kids take their swimming lessons. They enjoy it so much, and they're learning to love the water as much as I did as a kid. Or, in Miss V's case, continuing to love the water as much as she always has. That child fears nothing.

 And both kids ADORE their teacher, Alyssa.

She's pretty great.



Last week, we had a bit of a heat wave, so during the last few minutes of their lessons, the kids got to spend a few minutes playing in the water at the little spray park attached to our municipal pool.

 So fun! Miss V, of course, ran head first into this activity. Never mind that the water was cold, or that she'd never done anything like this before. My go-with-the-flow girl was all for it.


My cautious-and-careful J-bird preferred to hang at the side and watch the other kids go first, but once he had assessed the situation and was sure it was ok, he had a blast, pressing the buttons to make each set start spraying, and then running away, giggling that gorgeous giggle of his.

And me? I stood over to the side with the other mothers, letting the teacher be in control, and enjoying the delight of my children. If I'm being honest, it tugs my heart every time one of my kids walks away from me to do something on their own. I feel happy and proud as they grow and become more independent, but I also struggle with the desire to run and re-claim that little hand for my own, to put off the transitions from babyhood to toddler-hood to kid-hood for as long as I can, to hold them tightly and never let them go, because seeing them go, even for a short time, is so impossibly...wrenching. My feet sometimes start to move of their own accord, my hand reaching out. Then, I take a deep breath, like my Mama taught me to do when things get weird, and I stop, wave at them, and watch them go; and I let the happy-for-them part hold hands with the wistful-for-me part, and I get on with things until they come back to me. I suppose that's just being a mother, isn't it? Watching these living embodiments of my heart take on the world, one swimming lesson at a time, while I sit on the sideline with all the other mothers, grinning proudly, with tears in my eyes.

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