Friday, November 19, 2010

Swimming and the art of motherhood

For this session, both my  boys are in mommy-and-me swimming lessons. It's a little hectic, as the lessons are back-to-back and the drying, diapering, changing and child-watch swapping has to occur in about 7 minutes - but we're settling into a routine and I keep telling myself "It's only 8 weeks".

The next session, the big boy will be old enough to attend swimming lessons with me watching from the bench. I am thrilled to be avoiding the post-partum-bathing-suit-horror and the freezing cold pool, but I am also a wee bit sad. This is a big step for him, and for me. We've been in the pool together since he was 6 months old.

Betcha' never noticed how much he looks like his brother, eh?

Today, for the first time - I took my hands off him and he (buoyed by a bubble and styrofoam barbell) kicked his feet and swam to me. I always knew this was the point of swimming lessons, but I just never expected it to actually happen. Just like when I went into labor with him - I knew labor happens at the end of a pregnancy, I just never thought it would happen to me.

Dude, I am so glad that's over.

B has always been the kind of person who watches (i.e. obsessively analyzes) from the sidelines, and attempts a skill only when he has it mentally mastered.  For example, he never once "tried" to climb up on the furniture. One day, he just toddled over to the couch and climbed up. Period. To the utter shock of both his astounded parents.

Why hello there.

It was that way with swimming. Last week, he could not swim. This week, he did.

There was a tightening in my chest as he did it - laughing and kicking his way to my outstretched arms. It was sweet, but it hurt, too.  My heart felt pinched - squeezed by surprised pride, and aching with the knowledge of my empty hands. I could (and did) cheer him on (much too enthusiastically - gotta rein that in before the teenage years, mama) but my work here, is basically done.

Big boy.

It was such a silly thing - him taking his first solo kicks in the pool. I can't believe I could devote a whole blog post to it - but, nonetheless it was one of my first lessons in letting him go. Watching and supporting from the sidelines. I thought it would be such a relief for me to be "done" with swimming, but what I am left with is a sweet but painful ache in my heart.

I'm thankful for the ache though. So grateful it got my attention. I'll savor these last few weeks in the water with him, armed with the thorny knowledge that he doesn't really need me there anymore.


  1. I can feel the pangs in my heart as I am reading through this. You must be so proud!! Have a great weekend!

  2. I love the lil' one in the fridge, and the look "who me?" Precious!

    I'm stopping by from Soule Mama's {This Moment}. I hope you'll do the same! You can see our moment @

    Sofia's Ideas

  3. oh are doing a great job ..that is what we mothers do basically enjoy becoming irrelavent in our kid's life and enjoy watching them take on life as self sufficent functioning adults in the human community with kids of their own..keep it up your boys are awesome!!!