Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Looking fear in it's face and jumping!

I experienced a rare feeling this past Monday.
Complete and utter lack of control. See I really like control. I like driving the car. Pointing it in the direction I want to go.
God asks us to let him drive. He wants to be the one leading the journey. Buckle up cause he never says there won't be potholes, funky weather, flat tires or squeaky brakes.
Monday I sat back and watched my child take a giant leap of faith.
What I saw brought tears to my eyes and forced me to acknowledge that I have a trust issue!
Rob and I decided the kids needed to learn to swim. I am not a big fan of swimming, my idea of swimming is taking a few casual laps in a heated pool to wet myself just before spending some quality time on a floaty. I still plug my nose to go under and if fish live in the water I do go in. We have an agreement (fish and I) I stay out of their water and they don't end up on my plate for dinner. Now that I say that, I think the fish are getting the better part of that deal...
Anyways, For safety sake, we thought the kids learning the basics were a good idea, after that they can decide where and how much swimming they'd like to do.
It has been 6 weeks now into lessons and I have to say they are doing marvelous.
Neither one of them screams at bath time if water happens to fall in their face. If fact they laugh.
So I was watching class, and I noticed Butter's class was getting out of the pool. I looked at the clock and thought "Hmm, it's not time to go yet."
I watched them single file down the length of the pool toward the deep end.
Panic rose up in me. Butter had yet to fully go under, and she still wanted to plug her nose.
I watched as Conner (the teenage instructor) dove into the water and perched himself under the diving board. Butter won't even jump in the shallow end of the pool!
I was surprised to see she was third in line. THIRD. By her choice, third.
I kept thinking "Oh my. Oh my. What is she going to do? Will she chicken out? Will she just do it? Will she need help?"
The first little girl made her way to the end of the board and stood there and stood there and stood there. A good full minute. Then she gingerly sank to her bum, inching her toes toward the water and with her hands still clinging with a death grip lowered herself in. It was a riot to watch. I thought "Yep that will be Butter. She won't be able to let go and jump."
I yelled to Rob to get out and watch. (He was still in lessons with Roo and he needed his glasses to see our daughter)
I also wanted him ready in case she panicked.
The second kid was up, again gingerly making his way to the end of the board. This time another instructor came out and helped him. She held his hands and dropped him in. I clapped and cheered. I wanted the kids to know how exciting it was.
Then it was Butter's turn. I watched my child climb right up the ladder onto the board and walk straight out onto it. I could she she was nervous, but this child was determined not to let fear get her. The hesitation at the end of the board brought out the other instructor again. Butter looked from her to Conner below and nodded.
She was going to do it!
My baby girl was going to get dropped in the deep end of the pool and she was choosing to trust those around her!!! Strangers. She was trusting strangers...She was looking fear right in the face and CHOOSING to go through it!
I have to admit I was crying. My heart swelled with pride as I watched her take those last few steps and then let go into the water.
I clapped and cheered. Rob cheered and Roo was crying that he didn't get to use a noodle today.
I watched her climb out of the pool and wipe her face and then I watched her get back in line!
She wanted to go again!
She waited patiently while all the other kids went. I cheered each one of them on. (I was the only one clapping and cheering, what is wrong with these people? Our kids just went off the board! Didn't matter, I was impressed with all of them. especially my Butter. She had fear of water, and a stubborn attitude that she knew how to swim and didn't want lessons!)
It was a full-circle moment for her.
Finally she was the last to go, She walked down the board and jumped right in. Conner was right there and I couldn't hear what he was saying but I could see the look on her face and that girl was so proud of herself.
We hugged and kissed her. For me it was very emotional. As parents we want our kids to succeed, we want what is best for them and mostly we never want them to feel fear or be scared or have pain or hurts of any kind. We want to control the things to do so we can keep them "safe". But when a time comes where we have to release them to it...oh the trust...oh the sheer pain of releasing...
Later in the hallway, while we were waiting for Rob and Roo, Butter said "Conner thinks I'm a good swimmer."
It made me giggle, she's liked Conner from the very first day. Conner is like her David Cassidy, Donnie Osmond or Zac Efron...Conner IS...well CONNER.
"Really? Is that what he was telling you after you jumped?"
She turned away and then looked back at me "NO!!!!!!" She is so sassy.
Then she said "He told me I was brave. That he liked that I went twice and just jumped in."
"Were you scared?"
"Uh huh. The first time, but Conner caught me."
I have a sneaking suspicion she liked when Conner holds her. (In a very sweet and innocent way!)
"I'm glad you like Conner and trust him."
"Well, I DO like him and even if he's a boy and doesn't wear a shirt I still like him."
I'm trying to figure out how I can get Conner to come live with us, can you imagine what she'd do? I'd never have to ask her to clean her room again if Conner told her it was messy!
I am so proud of my girl and so very thankful to young Mr. Conner for doing something I couldn't. Give her confidence to try something out of her comfort zone.
See because no matter WHAT I say, it's what I DO that she learns from. I am the comforter. I am the one who wants to protect her. So even if I say she should try something, she knows I will be there to comfort her, the confidence has to come from within, from experiences, from letting go.

1 comment:

  1. aww sara, this beautiful post makes ME wanna cry. you captured this incredible event so well with your words and I felt like I was there with ya. what an incredible moment for you all. and this...." even if he's a boy and doesn't wear a shirt I still like him."
    CRACKS ME UP! ;o)


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