I suck at swimming. My children are both great at swimming and because I stink at it, I climb to a whole new level of pride when I watch what it takes to excel at this sport. I have a few people in my life that think the student athlete movement has gotten out of control. Always busy, pushed beyond measure, way too many expectations at an early age, a ribbon or trophy for walking across a field correctly, and I don’t necessarily disagree. I believe in a balance of fitness and fun. And sure, sometimes we go over to the excessive side while dreaming of scholarships, but we always try to stay in check with the overall picture. At the very least, we have given our kids tools to stay in shape for the rest of their lives. What they give me back is unquantifiable.
PURE JOY =
- Watching all types of emotions skirt across their face within moments– nervousness, determination, dejection, relief, sadness, jubilation, embarrassment, fear….they are feeling so many things and learning to deal with each one as it comes.
- Watching them take all the hard work of practice and lay it all out on the line. They may not completely understand it yet, but all of the arduous weekly work builds into the performance they display for the screaming parents poolside. I love to hear their coach connect those dots for them after the race. Hard work rules the pool and oh yeah, it rules in life as well.
- Watching them do something that is physically difficult and foreign to me is such a gift. It reminds me that they are not little me’s, they are their own people, have their own gifts and they impress me with them every time I see them compete.
- I see them learn that sometimes what you bring that day isn’t enough to be the one on top. What a wonderful life lesson….and how blessed I am to be there to hold them and let them know that I love them regardless.
Being a parent has some difficult moments, and I would be lying if I said that the days where I plan my run-a-way to a tropical island to live in solitude are nonexistent. But today, and many more days, I feel so blessed to be able to marvel at the gifts we give to each other……and I know I’ll be looking back at these swim days with gratitude for many years to come.