I don’t often write about my kids specifically. I make mention of them a lot but I don’t tend to focus this blog as much on them as I do myself (I know..selfish woman!). I had a couple of instances this week where my 4 year old brought tears to my eyes and overwhelmed my already hormonal self to levels I didn’t think possible. Both instances were very different circumstances and yet both elicited the same reaction from me.
On Tuesdays, my son has swimming lessons. This is kind of a big deal for us because it’s been a very uphill battle getting him to learn how to swim. If you’ve ever been to the pool and seen the child who is crying, resisting and doing everything in their power to avoid the water…that would be my son. He’s always been timid about being in the water and always needed a lot of encouragement to do anything on or around it. We’ve been putting him in swimming for the past year or so and even though he’s repeating his classes because he’s not yet mastered the basics to move forward, I’ve watched my timid little boy blossom in the water. This past Tuesday was no exception.
While sitting on the side of the pool, I got to watch my little boy interact with his teacher and the other two children in his class, try different things in the water, sing songs, blow bubbles and jump up and down with a big smile on his face. Every once in a while, he would look over at me, smile really big and wave. Usually, as the lesson progresses, they do little swimming drills that take him out of his comfort zone and even though he does them, you can see that he’s eager to be done. This past week, he went out with his rings around his waist for his one-on-one swim with his teacher and she did something she hadn’t done with him before: she let go. He was never in any danger and she was right there but he didn’t panic, didn’t cry and swam his little heart out. All. By. Him.Self. When he got back to where his other swim buddies were, he looked over at me, beaming with pride and excitement. I started crying happy tears for my brave little boy who has come so far. I was so proud of him. And I was proud that he knew that he had accomplished something important all by himself.
The second instance was just a couple of days later and completely opposite of our swimming accomplishment. I was in the back room when I heard him yelling at his little brother to stop what he was doing. Just as he said it, I heard the unmistakable sound of the front door opening. I was in that front hall so fast I think I scared my kids. Sure enough, Mr. O. was playing with the door and getting himself ready to go outside to play. My oldest quickly told me that Mr. O. was opening the door and Mr. O. was quickly put in a time out. As soon as he sat in his time out chair, my oldest had this look of terror and unease on his face. Right away, I knew something was up because usually, being the loving brother that he is, he taunts his little brother when he gets sent to time out (ah, brotherly love at it’s finest). It took a few minutes but he eventually ‘fessed up that the reason that the front door was open was because he, not his brother, had unlocked it. He was full of guilt that his brother had been punished for his action. It was both heart-breaking and heart-warming to see him tell me this, knowing that he would be in trouble for his action and his lie.
Wow…my heart was so full seeing how mature my son is becoming and how he’s learning that he has control over his actions and consequences. I have never been as proud of him as I was this week. I know it’s not always going to be like this and it’s part of the whole parenting process but man…heart bursting!