I distinctly remember learning to swim at the local Y. The damp, chlorinated smell of the indoor pool. The slippery blue kick boards. The thrill of graduating to the deep end. I loved every second of it.
Peanut started his Y swim lessons last week. 30 years later, it’s foam noodles and buckets with “Cars” characters on them. But the indoor pool? Yup, smells the same. Timeless.
I am able to watch the lessons from the other side of a glass wall in a little lounge area. It’s been fascinating to be a fly on the wall. I have been able to observe him listening to another adult, being forced out of his comfort zone, see the excitement of achievement, gaining confidence in the water. But, almost more importantly, I have found myself learning. Learning that perhaps I hold Peanut back sometimes.
This summer, the times we’ve been in the pool, I am that helicopter mom. I live in fear of something happening. The first day that the instructor let Peanut go to swim to the wall on his own, he sank. I nearly jumped up to bang on that glass wall to pull my kid up. BUT before I could, there Peanut was. Swimming. Well, making an attempt at swimming. When he pulled himself up on that wall, shaking the water out of his hair, he was grinning ear to ear.
And so was I.
Tomorrow is our last class and I’m already going to miss it. I’m going to miss the activity it provides, the confidence it gives him, the totally cute, 20-something, tan, shirtless swim instructor…(yeah, I need to get out more).
I am thankful that I have had this time to take a breath and be an observant mom. Our day-to-day lives tend to be a constant conflict of the in the moment kid-centered activity and mom’s
hovering, marathon long to-do list. As a result, it’s sometimes hard to really see Peanut and the child he is becoming.
I’m happy to report, he is becoming one fantastic kid. Maybe not the best swimmer yet, but a happy, eager, fun little boy. And mom? She’s learning to trust the boy he is becoming.
We’ll see you at the pool.