Sports, in general, are not my thing. I’m sure there are a lot of reasons for this, but one of the main reasons may be my utter lack of hand-eye coordination. (And one of the reasons for that may be my ridiculous blinking reflex…just ask The Dad about that one!) But, for one reason or another, swimming came fairly easily to me.
Turns out, I seem to have passed some of my non-athleticism to E. He’s blessed and gifted in many ways, but being a superstar athlete is probably not his future career. Who cares? But, if I’m being honest, I once found myself hoping/expecting he would quickly latch on to swimming the way I did.
I feel so guilty even typing those words. I hate having these expectations of what my kids “should” be or what I hope they will be “made into”. Because they were created perfectly. With their OWN gifts and interests.
But it’s true for me, and I’m sure many other parents, that parents sometimes have these predetermined ideas of what our kids will do or where they will excel. And I know I have to let go of that – completely – because what I really want (and what I know my kids really need!) is for my kids to know they are 100% loved for just being who they are.
Anyway, so the part of me that I don’t like to admit exists took E to his first swimming lessons a few years ago and watched to see him take to it immediately. At the time, I felt like he didn’t. Sure, he did absolutely everything he was asked to do. Sure, he made progress. Sure, he loved every minute of it. But…well, that part of me that I really wish never existed looked at the other kids and saw some of them getting it faster than E.
We’re a few years removed from those first lessons and I’m a few years wiser (in some ways!). Now, looking back, he did take to it right away.
And I almost missed it.
Because I was looking for what I expected to see, instead of truly seeing him.
Wow. I regret that I have ever looked at my kids through the filter of my own ideas about them. I regret that I have ever forgetten the wonderfulness that is their own unique personalities, interests and talents.
Today, I really watched E today in the pool. There was an unabashed look of joy on his face. For hours on end. He couldn’t stop doing flips underwater long enough for me to talk to him. He splashed and was thrown around and swam and dove to the bottom and he really, truly loved it.
And I asked myself. “Isn’t this what it’s about? Something he loves? Something that brings him so much joy? What more could I ask for?” And I know. No matter how fast he gets it or how well he does, it doesn’t matter. At all.
He doesn’t need to be an Olympic swimmer to love it. And he doesn’t need to be anything but himself to be loved. More than he could ever imagine.
PS ~ It’s possible E might have enjoyed this SO much that my camera suffered a bit. Some big splashes may have hit me and may have smeared on the lense a bit…and I may still think these pics are awesome!!