The Importance of Being A Swimmer

June 20th, 2008

When I was about 7 or so, I had a great babysitter. Her name was Denise Rushing. She lived down the way from our family and I just adored her. She was sweet. Her mom always made the best chocolate chip cookies when we went to her house…and she had a swimming pool. I remember going to her house one hot, summer day to go swimming. I don’t remember the specifics, but I remember being thrown into the deep end of the pool. I could not swim and I panicked. Denise had to jump in to rescue me. That moment forever changed my perception of deep water and learning to swim. My babysitter thought it was funny. My sub-conscience filed it away in the “things to avoid” department. I still can’t swim very well. I probably never will.Drowning

My husband and I didn’t want our son to be afraid of water. For four summers, we had signed up our son for week-long swimming lessons at the local pool. He would have an instructor and 3 or 4 fellow students learning to swim. Although he listened and tried to learn, he just didn’t get the hang of things.

We found out that Boy Scouts insists on boys knowing how to swim. Not only knowing how to swim, but swimming well and learning how to save someone that is drowning. We had reached the point where our son HAD to know how to swim. It wasn’t a “if you feel like learning” thing. It was mandatory.

SwimmingI went to our local pool asking for private lessons. I was told that someone would call me, but after two weeks, I went elsewhere. I messaged our local high school swimming coach. He said he would teach a 20 minute lesson for $30! (Did he think my last name was Rockefeller or something?) I prayed and kept looking. I then remembered that a fellow scout/homeschooler that we know will be training for a lifeguard. Ah ha! Just what I had been praying for!

We hired this wonderful 15 yr. old boy to teach our son to swim. On the first lesson, the boy noticed that our son knew how to swim in the back of his brain. He just needed the confidence and reassurance that he could do it. In five lessons, our son had so much confidence that he started jumping off the high dive into 12 ft. deep water at our local pool. Those lessons were the best $60 I have EVER spent. To see the huge smile on our son’s face when he jumps off the high dive is priceless.

This week he is going to camp. He can’t wait to take his swimming test in order for him to play in the pool. It know he can do it. I never fails to amaze me how many of us just need a push or a “you can do it” from those around us. When we do, we can do anything.

Feeling Fragile

June 20th, 2008

Ever have a moment in your life when you just feel like a bubble? Or an icicle? Or a thin pane of glass? Fragile. Like you have had so much going on emotionally, mentally, physically, that you just don’t need one more poke. If you do, you feel like you will break. For some reason, I felt like that today.Shattered glass

Our son is going to camp. I am getting better about this. I don’t want to be one of those overly protective mothers. The kind that sends her son out into the world as a “Mama’s Boy”. I don’t want him to have a disagreement with his wife and come running to me. I want to teach him to be strong. I want him to know that he can do anything he sets his heart to. I will always be on the sideline cheering him on.

We have been preparing for camp all week. Buying incidentals here and there. Checking our list to make sure that we haven’t forgotten anything. I noticed today that the “bring to camp” list said something about a medical form. I had updated a form recently, however I wasn’t sure if that was the form needed. Whenever our son has gone on a camp out, leaders have always asked for a permission form. I wasn’t sure if I needed to fill out a new one or not.

I jumped onto our Yahoo list and asked the group if I needed to fill out a permission form. I got a sharp-toned response saying that I didn’t need to ask such a question to the group and “thanks everyone for not sending out needless messages”. I never did get a response to my innocent question. I felt like a thin pane of glass for some reason. Maybe it is that my child will be away for a week. Maybe it is dealing with relations bickering. Maybe it is me missing my best friend today. Maybe it is the heat outside. Who knows.

I did send an apology note to the person that gave a sharp retort. I also sent a copy to the leader of our group. I just wanted them both to know that it was an innocent question. I wasn’t flooding the world with junk mail. I was trying to be a good mom and cover my bases.

There are days like today where I wish the world would just stop being so negative. Have a little patience and understanding, folks. Life is too short to be snippy.

“For many people, one of the most frustrating aspects of life is not being able to understand other people’s behavior.” -Unknown