Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Swimming lessons

Ethan is swimming!  He's loaded up with a life jacket and arm floaties but he can now swim around the pool by himself.  I think he finally reached the point where he couldn't stand to see his little 2yo brother swimming around and felt a little left out.

Ethan has been quite scared of the water until now.  He was happy to just sit in the little floaty boat and watch or stand on the steps but now he's turned into a little swimmer!

We were all so excited to see this before our eyes.  You have the heart burst moment of pride that they've achieved something that obviously scared them.  They've overcome fear and risen up to the challenge.  What a huge step that is to take.  Many of us get paralysed with fear as adults and find it more comfortable to take the easier road, missing out on all the rewards of taking the hard road. 

I learnt a big lesson in Ethan's achievement though, a huge insight into his personality.  I had gone in the pool earlier with him and he was holding on to me tight.

"Don't let go Mummy" he said very nervously. 

I told him I wouldn't, but urged him to let go and swim. 

"No, I'm too scared!"

I told him again.  He said he wanted his Dad....

I watched his dad who was so reassuring and patient and saw instantly Ethan begin to gain confidence.  Michael was his support and it allowed him to get a little braver.

It was his Oma though that was in the water when Ethan decided to let go and swim.  He chose when to do it.  He chose when he was ready. 

He let go, told Oma to get out of the way and off he went.  Right up to the deep end and back again! Oh my we clapped and cheered in amazement.  Here he was just earlier so fearful and now his smile was so big, his own pride for himself beaming out.  What a moment!  That moment of achievement...and he did it when he was ready all by himself.

Off he goes!

Kicking away!

Nearly there! 

Made it!

I felt guilty.  Why did I push him?  I know exactly what that feels like.  I had (have) a fear of water even now.  I distinctly remember being made to go on the ski tube behind the boat when I was a kid and screaming the whole way! I hated it.  I remember being called a sook for it and remember feeling so bad.

Big cuddles with Mum to warm up!

As much as it wasn't that dramatic for Ethan, it really hit me at how unsupportive I had been.  He couldn't rely on me and he didn't trust me. 

I know it's easy to get caught up in pushing our children, supposedly for the better, but what a moment when they choose for themselves to try something new.  Their achievement is independent of us, it is theirs to own and enjoy. 

Ethan and his Oma

I'm so grateful that Michael and his Mum were there to set such a good example for me also.  It was certainly a moment that we will all remember and treasure in our hearts. We're so proud of you Ethan!

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